That's a very long distance call: Radio ham contacts International Space Station from his GARDEN SHED after waiting weeks for it to pass directly overhead
- Father-of-two Adrian Lane made contact with International Space Station
- He was sat in his garden shed as astronauts passed 200 miles overhead
- Amateur radio enthusiast got a crackly response from American astronaut
- The pair spoke for 50 seconds and Mr Lane asked what space was like
As they orbited Earth at 18,500mph the last thing astronauts on the International Space Station expected was to receive a message from an amateur radio enthusiast 200 miles below.
Especially one who was sat in the less than glamorous surroundings of his garden shed.
Father-of-two Adrian Lane has been communicating with strangers from his outhouse for almost 20 years but usually only speaks to fellow radio hams.
But when he heard the International Space Station was due to pass over his home in Coleford, Gloucestershire, he was determined to make contact.
Mr Lane, 52, plotted its route and worked out the brief window during which it would be overhead.
As it came into his frequency he sent out a call with his unique sign and to his delight an American astronaut answered back to 'welcome him aboard'.
The pair chatted for around 50 seconds before the space station went out of range.
But despite the incredible feat of communication, the two had a mundane conversation in which Mr Lane asked what it was like in space and got the answer: 'Very dark'.
Nevertheless, Mr Lane - who shares his shed with his pet tortoise Bart - says the exchange 'blew my mind'.
'The adrenaline was pumping a little bit,' he said. 'It was very enjoyable.
'I said to them how wonderful earth must look from up there.
'They said "oh Adrian, it's amazing, you can't imagine what it looks like from up here".
‘He said it was very dark but when you look down at Earth it is full of colour.
'I basically asked who he was and how things were in space that day. It was such a rush.
'I was buzzing. It's not everyday you get to talk to some guy out in space, and I did.
'It blows my mind really.'
Radio hams use permitted frequencies to talk to fellow enthusiasts around the world without the Internet or cell phones.
Mr Lane usually broadcasts on 144.800 MHz from his concrete shed which is 15ft away from his house.
He is on Nasa's mailing list and received a notification the space station would be passing overhead.
The radio enthusiast spent weeks intently listening for their call signal - NAISS - and when he finally heard it he sent out his own unique call sign 2E0SDR.
The station was in range for just four minutes and he made contact with them for 50 seconds of that.
He added that many of the astronauts are also radio hams and are often willing to speak to fellow enthusiasts.
Mr Lane is a former lorry driver and security guard and now a full-time carer for his wife Deilwen, who is not on the same wavelength when it comes to his hobby.
He said: 'She hates it with a passion. We've had so many rows over it.
'Even the kids know where to find me. Where's dad? Oh, he's in the shed again.
'It just fascinates me, all of it. Building the circuit boards, buying all components, soldering the bits together.
'And I love the true spirit of the ham radio.
'We're a global community. We exchange ideas all the time. But there are three things we never talk about - sex, religion and politics.'