In 1983, Astronaut Owen Garriott on board the Space Shuttle Columbia used "ham" radio gear to make Earth-Space radio contacts during mission STS-9. Stanford Amateur Radio Club, W6YX, used the big dish to track the Space Shuttle's orbit and participate in this momentous historical event. W6YX can be heard at the 27 second mark of Owen Garriott's personal tape recording from the mission. The tradition continues to this day. On the morning of April 7th, 2009, the Stanford Amateur Radio Club made contact with Stanford Alumnus and space flight participant Charles Simonyi aboard the International Space Station. Charles sent his best wishes to the club and praised the education Stanford provides its students.