Manned spacecraft carry amateur satellite equipment for several purposes including: education, recreation, and backup communications. Scheduled contacts are made with schools for
educational purposes. Astronauts and Cosmonauts use the equipment to relieve the boredom of a long space flight.
The International Space Station has 2 meter and 70 centimeter FM equipment for both voice and packet radio communications. Communication may be with one of the crew or to another ground-based amateur radio operator the through the 70 centimeter SAFEX repeater. See the NASA ISS Ham Radio page for further details and listings of crew member amateur radio call signs. The US Space Shuttle also has 2 meter FM equipment for both voice and packet radio communications.