Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Status Report
January 26, 2009
1. Upcoming School Contacts
An Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact has been scheduled for Castor Valley Elementary School in Greely, Ontario, Canada on Tuesday, January 27 at 19:33 UTC. A space club at the school has been formed for grades 1-8. Students from this group will ask questions of the astronaut. Students have learned about the ISS via the internet and videos and through guest speakers. They have been taught the correct radio protocol and have tracked and plotted the course of the ISS. All classes have taken part in space projects and activities. Media, members of the community, the school board and other dignitaries have been invited to attend.
An Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact has been scheduled for CERAM EAI in Sophia Antipolis, Alpes Maritimes, France. The contact will take place on Thursday, January 29 at 14:54 UTC via telebridge station VK4KHZ in Australia. CERAM University conducts research projects in aviation, engineering and IT. Amateur radio communications has been introduced to students to prepare for the contact. Newspaper and television coverage is anticipated and webcast retransmission is possible.
Ecole & Collège Jean XXIII, a private primary & secondary school in Pamiers, France, will experience an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact on Friday, January 30 at approximately 13:08 UTC. Five hundred students, ages 3 to 15 years old, attend the school. Students in the third cycle classes (3rd - 5th grades) and those in their second year of secondary school have studied radio communications. Radio operators from "l'Institut de Développement des Radiocommunications par l'Enseignement" (IDRE) have introduced radio technology to the children. Topics included remote command use, introduction to Morse code, ham radio phone contact, distress beacon search, electronic kits, and different ham radio station possibilities. This ARISS activity has been incorporated into the educational subjects of Astronomy, History of Space Exploration, Geography and Writing.
Humber College Institute of Technology and Higher Learning in Toronto, Ontario, Canada has been scheduled for an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact on Monday, February 2 at 17:29 UTC. The school has concluded an extensive research period in how waves travel through space and the Earth's atmosphere and plans to put theory into practice. It has assembled the primary ground station right on the main campus, and it is hoped that it will inspire future students in conducting similar studies. With help from the media department and a school contest, the school has been working to involve every student in this project. With over seventy thousand students, which include both full-time and part-time students, the college is excited to promote this project within the community.
Pilton Bluecoat Junior School in Barnstaple, Devon, England has been scheduled for an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact on Friday, February 6 at 14:48 UTC. The school has planned an event with the theme "Our Home in Space - The Final Frontier," in which students learn about Earth as part of the wider universe. All classes took part in the initial selection of questions; the final questions were chosen by the school council. Students have studied the development of the ISS and the history of man in space. Older children have written press releases.
Städtisches Gymnasium Herzogenrath in Herzogenrath, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany has been scheduled for an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact on Saturday, February 7 at 10:32 UTC. The school has an amateur radio club whose members initiated the ARISS contact. The students prepared a radio exhibition that was shared with the school. The English and History departments have also participated in this activity. Students competed in an essay contest and created projects related to the "Space Race." Newspapers and television stations have been invited to cover the event.
College of Agriculture, Central Agricultural University in Imphhal, Assam, India has been scheduled for an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact on Sunday, February 8 at 10:06 UTC via telebridge station VK4KHZ in Australia.
2. Children's Hospital Contact Successful
On Tuesday, January 20, patients at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa, Canada spoke with Sandra Magnus, KE5FYE, during an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact. The children asked 16 questions of the astronaut via telebridge station ON4ISS in Belgium. Due to the hospital's infection protocol, media was kept from the event and unable to access or interview the students directly. A representative from another children's hospital in Calgary was present and was very impressed with the event; he plans to submit an ARISS application for his hospital. The audio was fed into the EchoLink AMSAT and JK1ZRW servers and into the IRLP Discovery reflector 9010. EchoLink received 20 connections from 14 countries, including one link node and two repeaters.
3. Astronaut Training Status
On Friday, January 23, Jeff Williams, KD5TVQ, received a refresher course covering the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) radio equipment and operations. Williams is scheduled to launch to the ISS in September and will take over as commander in November 2009.
4. General Voice Contacts
Mike Fincke, KE5AIT and Yuri Lonchakov, RA3DT made several general voice contacts over the last week. Among those contacted were stations in France, Spain, Chile, Italy and the Netherlands.
5. ARRL QST Covers ARISS News
The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) printed 4 Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) news items in its February 2009 issue of QST.
On page 12, the "In Brief" column (a "what's been happening at ARRL recently) mentions ARISS' 25th commemorative activities
"Inside Hq -- 2008 Year-End Review" (page 13) mentions that ARISS "celebrated its 350th QSO (contact)."
A story on pages 54-55, "Amateur Radio and Public Education Make for a Bright Future" is about a Kentucky high school teacher who included amateur radio in his science curriculum. There is one small part about him being excited about his students being able to garner an ARISS contact.
The "75, 50, and 25 Years Ago" column on page 102 shows the cover of February 1984 QST with Owen Garriott on the front, and the column lists two bullet items for the February 1984-25 years-ago section: the first being about Owen on the cover, and the second being that QST printed an interview of Owen, and it says: "We all hope that Amateur Radio will continue to be a part of the space shuttle missions."