ARISS News Release                                                                                                    No.   21-50  

Dave Jordan, AA4KN


[email protected]






ARISS Contact is Scheduled for

Participants at SPDW Voortrekker Movement Camp, Oranjeville, South Africa


September 22, 2021—Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) has received schedule confirmation for an ARISS radio contact with astronauts. ARISS is the group that puts together special amateur radio contacts between students around the globe and crew members with ham radio licenses on the International Space Station (ISS).


This will be a direct contact via amateur radio between participants at the SPDW Voortrekker Movement camp and Astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, amateur radio call sign KE5DNI. Youths will take turns asking their questions. Appropriate local Covid-19 protocols are adhered to as applicable for each ARISS contact. The downlink frequency for this contact is 145.800 MHZ and may be heard by listeners that are within the ISS-footprint that also encompasses the radio relay ground station.


Amateur radio operators in Oranjeville using the ZS9SPD call sign will operate the ham radio ground station for this contact.


The ARISS radio contact is scheduled for September 24, 2021 at 12:43 pm SAST (Oranjeville, SA), (10:43 UTC, 6:43 am EDT, 5:43 am CDT, 4:43 am MDT and 3:43 am PDT).


SPDW Voortrekker Movement (Voortrekkers) is an organization serving South Africa and Namibia youth ages 5 years up to 28 years. Voortrekkers offers an annual week-long camp with water activities and science-related courses and badges for Grade 1 to Grade 7. Space Observation is one of the badges/courses offered to the Grade 4s (30 children). About 260 children and 90 adults (instructors and mentors) from across 5 Provinces, are attending the camp. Youth in Grade 4 will be the most active participants in this ARISS contact; however, all of the children will be involved in many camp presentations and activities. Voortrekkers camp curriculum includes space observation, astronomy, and a simulated space habitation experience. During this camp event, youths are introduced to space & GPS technology and participate in a simulation of ISS (crew-to-ground) radio communication by making radio and CCTV communications with the “outside world”. Camp participants also can work toward their ham radio operator badge, and participate in a licensing ham radio course and badge work. Local amateur radio operators will provide radio equipment and support camp participants during the ARISS contact.


The public is invited to watch the live stream at:



As time allows, students will ask these questions:

1. I am absolutely stunned at the thought of spacewalking... Are you scared before you go out of the spaceship to do a spacewalk? How do you feel inside your heart and your mind after you have completed a spacewalk? Does your body feel different?

2. Do you have any free time and how do you spend it.

3. Do you really think human existence will be possible on Mars in the future?

4. With all the money spent on outer space, how does it make life better for people on Earth? 

5. What is the feeling you experienced while you were going up into space.

6. How do you prepare your food in space and where do you get water from to drink?

7. Where do you get the oxygen from to breath while you are up there?

8. Are there any changes to your body while you are up in space?

9. How do you navigate in space, where do you know where you are going? Do you use maps, compass or GPS?

10. What happens when any of the crew gets sick?

11. Can you take your phone into space and is there signal in space? How do you contact your family at home?

12. How do you sleep in space when you are always floating around?

13. You spend long hours/days/weeks away from earth. Do you ever feel down and depressed in space? What do you do to combat down/depressed feelings?

14. My siblings and I grow up in the same house, is taught the same set of rules, yet we seem to fight a lot. What difference do you experience with the different people on ISS? from different... Countries, Culture, Houses? Do you fight with each other?

15. How does a "very active" person on earth, adapt to a "sit in one place in a spaceship?

16. You try to grow produce on ISS. Did you taste it? Can you define the taste?

17. On the farm my dad uses cow dung to fertilize vegetables, do you use the poop in your vegetable garden?

18. In space there is a lot of stuff that was made by humans... e.g. satellites... In 2020 the planning is to add 12000 extra satellites in space...How often do you see items like these in space?

19. Do you think humans have polluted space?    



ARISS – Celebrating 20 Years of Continuous Amateur Radio Operations on the ISS


About ARISS:

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is a cooperative venture of international amateur radio societies and the space agencies that support the International Space Station (ISS). In the United States, sponsors are the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the ISS National Lab-Space Station Explorers, and NASA’s Space communications and Navigation program. The primary goal of ARISS is to promote exploration of science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics topics. ARISS does this by organizing scheduled contacts via amateur radio between crew members aboard the ISS and students. Before and during these radio contacts, students, educators, parents, and communities take part in hands-on learning activities tied to space, space technologies, and amateur radio. For more information, see



Media Contact:

Dave Jordan, AA4KN



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