Nick Lance, KC5KBO
NASA/Johnson Space Center, Retired
JSC Amateur Radio Club W5RRR
Clear Lake Amateur Radio Club (CLARC) K5HOU
I was born in Brooklyn, NY but consider Middlesex, NJ my hometown. I received my undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1973 and my master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Houston in 1979. I began my career at the NASA/Johnson Space Center in 1968 as a co-op student, and was part of the Apollo Program which landed men on the moon. I have been part of all the manned space programs since Apollo. I retired in August 2009.
I first considered studying for an amateur, or “ham”, radio license at the age of 10 at the suggestion of my father. I have fond memories studying the code with my dad in our basement. But as a 10 year old, I was involved in too many activities and did not get my license. Fortunately, a generation later, when I asked my 8-year old daughter, Erica, if she would like to study for a ham radio license, she said, “Yes”. In 1994 we passed our license exam together and received consecutive callsigns, KC5KBO and KC5KBP. In 1996, my son Nick, KC5SWM, earned his license at age 7, and my wife Renee, KC5VMA, followed with her license later that year. I enjoy sharing the fun of ham radio with others.
I am a member of the JSC Amateur Radio Club and past president of the Clear Lake Amateur Radio Club (CLARC). In my spare time, I teach license classes to the public and to intermediate school students in the CCISD (Clear Creek Independent School District). I’ve taught in the CCISD schools since 1999 and licensed about 30 - 40 students per year. Both the Westbrook Intermediate School Club and the League City Intermediate School Club compete in the School Club Roundup under my callsign. I am part of the ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) team that organizes the ham radio contacts with the astronauts on the Space Station. One of my specific roles is to prepare the astronauts to pass their amateur radio license exam. I was named the Professional Educator of the Year in 2003 by the Amateur Radio Relay League.
When I am not “radio-active”, I enjoy spending time with my family and competing in the tournament horseshoe circuit as a member of the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association, taking the sport up again after a 35 year hiatus, after winning the New Jersey State Junior Championship in 1966. Since getting back in the game, I’ve won back to back to back gold medals in horseshoes in the 2009, 2011, and 2013 National Senior Olympic Games. In 2013 I won the Texas State Horseshoe Championship.
Part of the fun of amateur radio is meeting other people, so if your plans bring you to Houston, TX, please email me in advance.
Some people confuse me with my son, Nick, KC5SWM, winner of the 2012 Callahan Award for Ultimate Frisbee. You can read more about him at