Today at 1803 UTC, Ron AH6RH and I made the FIRST packet QSO/exchange via ISS's digipeater RS0ISS. We had several pings on my 1 minute 20 second mutual visibility pass between us. See http://www.ariss.net/
Ever since ISS packet/voice was activated, I was looking for a partner on the east side of the Big Island of Hawaii to do this. I sent out blind emails to all hams in the area. Looked at packet from Hawaii etc... Finally about 3 years ago, I met up with Ron, AH6RH who shared my goal. For the past few years we have been trying to make this first contact. Between ISS packet being off the air, and limited times to try with work etc, it finally became a reality today! I did my victory DX dance when Ron called me from Hawaii screaming in excitement!
Thanks to ARISS for it's support of amateur radio on the ISS.
73, Scott WA6LIE CM96eq