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ISS Ham Radio Operations??

Hello all,

I have a few questions that some of you experts with NASA
or ARISS might be able to answer.

I am currently studying for my Amateur Radio License and have
2 kids that are somewhat interested in the hobby.

My daughter Katy (11) is very interested in the sciences and enjoys
watching the discovery channel very often.
She is a sponge for knowledge but also needs something interactive
to keep her interested.

My husband is a HAM and has been one for 25 years or so.
He was very active with the MIR Space Station packet, and had
talked many times to the crew aboard. This sparked my INTEREST that
there is more to the hobby. We have even viewed MIR and ISS in the skies
after sunset and were amazed that we could see them with the naked eye!

Here is the question(s).

1. Is there going to be a dedicated HAM station aboard ISS?
2. Is it going to be ON all the time? (see below)
3. If the answer to question 2 is NO, How can we keep the kids INTERESTED?
4. Will there be APRS "School Days" like there was on MIR?

The reason why all these questions is because I really want to learn about
this stuff and my daughter Katy does too!

When my husband gets us all together in front of the radio and computer
to "demonstrate" the radio operations from space via APRS, it has ALWAYS
been a bust! That is, ISS radio isn't on or working. This leads a bad
to all those eager to LEARN. My kids now think it is a joke we are playing
on them and have lost interest.

I realize that there are other satellites we can use for demos etc, but it
NOT the same thing as talking or using the ISS that has human life onboard!
My daughter can relate to someone she can talk to or interact with.
She thinks seeing all the stations via ISS appear on the APRS monitor is too
cool!  (Ariss.net) My son thinks we are full of crap because he hears or
sees NOTHING on ISS passes in our area.

Can anyone please help?

My husband says that the HAMS have NO control of what happens on ISS.
NASA seems to say when and if anything happens.

Space Camp is a great way to get kids interested in Space.

Ham Radio is a door opener to get these kids off the streets and
interested in the sciences, and can be done in the classroom!
(Antenna,Scanner/Handheld & computer/TNC)

Thank You in advance!


PS. If Ham Radio will not be ON all the time on ISS, does any other country
have future plans for such a service to help educate our kids?

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