This site and all pages and attachments copyright asserted 1998-2023 Andy Thomas G0SFJ


Because of Brexit, the domain name "" may not work after 31 December 2020. But ""  will continue to work. Subject to Google...

23 August 2023

I'm very pleased to support India's Lunar landing. My India flag, which was flown by Cosmonaut Rakesh Sharma on Salyut-7, was shown on Central TV East Midlands this evening.

This site started life in December 1998, devoted to pictures received with my radio amateur equipment from the Mir Space Station.


Mir has now been decommissioned; she burnt up on re-entry over the South Pacific. Goodbye old friend!! We look forward to the development of amateur radio on the ISS.


This site also covers my experiments in amateur radio astronomy and other space-related amateur radio projects.

 More than forty years ago I recognised my long term interest in space exploration, but it was only when my father died that I met again the radio ham community that I had been with in the late 1960s, and who were who were now in contact with the cosmonauts and astronauts in space. We, they, remain, the "common people" who reach out into space.

This is the second iteration of a site hosted by Google. Out of necessity there are some changes. 

Please explore and enjoy this site!

Andy, G0SFJ


 You can always reach me via my callsign details on:

 -----------------------------------------------------NEW EVENTS AT G0SFJ -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We participate in World Space Week 2018!







For my novels, click at "My Novels" on the left menu!

August 2013

Shadow Beacon experiments on the  International Space Station ISS / MKC

Signed cards from Roman Romanenko

July 2013

I operated from BY4BZB, Shanghai, China, on Friday 19th July 2013 as G0SFJ/BY4BZB. Here's a copy of my official licence from the Chinese Radio Amateur Community.

Many thanks to those Shanghai radio hams who made this mini-dxpedition possible.


I am just back from Kaliningrad (the Westernmost Oblast of Russia)  where I was able to visit the satellite communication ship. Cosmonaut Viktor Patsaev, which is moored in the Museum of the World's Oceans. My report is available for download below (29 May 2013). All conclusions are my own. My thanks to the Museum of the World's Oceans. 

12 June 2012:


A précis of my interview about ham radio on Radio Pridnestrovie Moldova Republic (PMR) and a scan of my qsl card are published today at:



May 2012


I was very priveliged to be invited to the ESA ISS Symposium 2012 in Berlin. My report is at:




My question at the 2012 ISS Symposium is recorded in the ESA  video: 


My question is at 01:02:31


1 September 2011


I am back from language study at the Russian Language and Culture Institute, St Petersburg. The RLCI's website  shows the ESA  cosmonauts who were there before me.


Their photo (below) is proudly on show in the offices on the 3rd floor.

February 2011

My MA thesis Kul'tura Kosmosa: the Russian Popular Culture of Space Exploration has now been published at:


40 Years After Lunochod 1 Russia's Youth is Working on New Moonbuggy

I am delighted to support the SEI Press Release as downloadable below.






9 September 2010


Leipzig video at:


August 18th 2010


Today I think that the blobs were illuminated because of the sun angle and actually they were small liquid leaks from the coolant system, shining when reflecting the sun.


This is what I wrote on the 14th before the 3rd spacewalk. I was looking at the white dots in the pix below that flared up at 1/16th speed when replaying (brief flashes when viewed live). At the same time the solar panel (Gold in picture) was retracting, demonstrating changes in sun angle:


"Just idly watching NASA-TV and suddenly saw what could be Perseid meteors, flares or cosmic rays hitting the camera, at about 1400 utc. I started to record it using real player download and replayed them (these are the first):

Or they could be part of the station coming in/out of reflection? But I've never seen them before.

I wonder if they are drops of coolant being expelled from the broken system?"


end of observation


NEWS JUST IN: 24 August: I've won some items from the upcoming mission to the ISS!



many thanks!


More  if you click on Культура Космоса to the left...



20 September: My first picture of the ISS/MKC (has the new Japanese freighter attached). Mag -2.5 tonight, clear sky.

Note - each image is upside down (astronomical telescope). What interests me is the attitude change of the Station as she is seen from my location fixed on the ground at latitude 52 degrees North (orbital inclination is slightly less than that) - the subsatellite track takes her in a semicircle from (South) West to (South) East and the view of the architecture of the Station clearly changes. I wonder whether this is significant when communicating with the amateur radio antennae mounted on board? 

NEW Astronomy - 30 January 2010 ---------------------------------------------------------



I went to the 3-D version of Avatar and kept my plastic "REAL D" 3-d glasses thinking they might come in useful. From the Net I find that they are circular polarisation lenses, anticlockwise in the left eye and clockwise in the right. So I googled for reflected circular polarised light from the Sun and it turns out that circular polarisation might pick up specific geological features - ie it is a remote sensor.


See for example the introductory pages of  Meierhenrich et al/Remote sensing of circularly polarized light from orbit of planet Mercury by the esa mission Bepicolombo.

For the left image I inserted the left eye anticlockwise polarised lens between the eyepiece and the DSLR.


I always find that a full moon produces flat, boring images - best are the images around the terminator. But here to my eyes there is a distinct striation visble on the upper left crater that is visible with the circular polarisation and not visible without. Other features are visible as well (of course the image is upside down, i haven't meddled with it). I've told the SPA about this today and hope that better minds than mine can take this forward!!


 BTW this is Mars ar opposition last night:

it's upside down and I have taken away the violent green effect from the minus violet filter that I need for the refractor: best I can do, some structure visible!

Some downloads

Antenna array on the ship.pdf