(CNN)We live in a world fascinated by space, but very rarely does the ordinary man reach up into the stars for a chat. Unless you're Adrien Lane, a radio enthusiast from England's West Country.
Amateur radio enthusiast contacts space station
After checking with NASA and okaying it with British broadcasting authority, he managed to catch the International Space Station in a four-minute window as it hurtled 200 miles above him at 18,500 miles an hour.
Calling in from his home radio, he got the response, "Welcome aboard the International Space Station" from a American astronaut. He and the astronaut then talked for about 50 seconds as Mr. Lane asked about the stars.
The astronaut told him the stars looked different from such heights. "Everything's black, bar the stars, until we look down on Earth, Adrien, and it's a mass of color."
He was "quite ecstatic," he told CNN.
After reaching the final frontier, he ran into the house and told his wife "I've cracked it!"
And she remained the only one he told for a long time. The call actually happened last October, and would have gone unnoticed had the local newspaper not, in passing, inquired if he'd managed to do reach anyone with his ham radio hobby this month. Little did they know of his incredible story.