June 5th, 2013
Once the news about our QSO were spread out over the internet, Jan and I had an overwhelming feedback from all over the world. Many sent just congratulations, but a number of hams supported us with additional information. Domenico, I8CVS did calculations using the radar equation. His results concerning the expected signal levels correlate very well with our recordings.
A lot of details about earlier attempts were reported by GW4DGU (ex G4DGU), VK3UM and VA7MM. Here a summary in brief:
Chris, G4DGU and John, G4ANB performed tests with Ben, SM6CKU in 1980 on 70 cm. Ben was able to copy a SSB burst of Chris reflected on a COSMOS 3 stage launcher.
Dough, VK3UM had several QSOs with Graham, ZL3AAD on 432 MHz in the 1990s by bouncing signals off the Russian space station MIR. It seems, they were the first to complete a QSO using a space craft as reflector!
In an AMSAT forum Miles, WF1F, reports about reflections of Joe´s, W2KQ, signal bounced off the MIR on 2 m while arranging school schedules with one of the cosmonauts in 1994.
We knew that Mark, VA7MM and Cor, VE7BBG (sk) had their first tests on 23 cm on May 16th, 2004, as Mark published on his website. He now told in an email about four(!) QSOs they had on May 23rd, May 25th, May 31st and June 5th, 2004. As far as we know now, this team was the first to complete a QSO via ISS bounce at all.
In end of 2007 a lot of activities happened on 144 MHz. Rob, PE1ITR tried with Mike, DK3WN, who received reflections. Peter SM2CEW nearly completed a QSO with Håkan, SM7WSJ and tried also with Petros, SV3AAF (more). Frank, PE1NFE and Rune, SM5CUI were able to copy the signals from Sweden as well. Bernd, DF2ZC completed on 2 m with Frank, DH7FB on December 9, 2007. They had three more QSOs in 2008.
Addendum May 2016:
I found a link to the website of Philippe, F6ETI, where he described the successful experiments with F6AGR to bounce reflections off the Russian MIR space station on 144 MHz in February 2001. As he told me, they performed just a one way test and had no QSO.
To be continued ……