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Re: ISS Ham Radio Operations??


Your concerns and questions are at the core of what the potential of Ham
radio from ISS for children can be.

It is quite different for adults and for children. Adults have the fore
sight to accept results from long term efforts. Children need closer
incremental rewards to realize long term commitments. Your list of questions
is a wonderful spring board for what the space program and amateur radio
together can provide to the children of this planet. 

And you, as others, have noted that the key stumbling block to children
attaining advancing interest in space craft communications is the
irregularity of expected signals. This needs to be addressed in several ways.
        1. The signal must be of a nature easily understood by the child and
at the same time able to capture their imagination.
        2. It must be of reseaonable expected occurrence.
        3. To be educationally valid it must result from their efforts in
assembling tools and information to attain their goals, not from
effortless clicking on an (aprs) web site. Although the child will delight
in the discovery of their quest, it is the underlying               lesson:
the assembly and use of tools (computers) and information and of self
discovery and self worth that is the essence of what              is set
before them.

What do we need to attain this?

What's easy? ..an astronaut velcroed to the ham radio doing voice contacts
to schools 12hrs a day. Nothing is better.

What will be just as good?...Regular week day transmission of SSTV pictures
(live every 36 seconds) continuously transmitted on low/no doppler 2meters
to hams (and schools) all over the world.

5-6th grade classes can learn to use computers not as internet push buttons
but as information gathering tools to gather Keps and UTC times to
personally calculate spacecraft position to receive live overhead pictures
from a real inhabited space station all thru their own efforts. Not a 'we
did it for you' NASA feed or a quick click 'that's a nice web site'....but a
live spacecraft contact..a team effort that they can take home and show
their parents. They can discover who they are and what they can be and do.
And in between they can use the computer knowledge to print out their own
visual passage predictions to show their parents on the lawn at night.

There is math and geography and computers and physics, learning and
communication, team work and visual beauty all wrapped up in one inspiring
project. SSTV

If your family has never used the computer sound card to receive these sstv
pictures from space let me know and I will send you some that my son and I
recieved when he was 10 yrs old. He got his ham license at age 9 to run a
school contact with Mir and tonite he was the first in the family to make
voice contact with ISS. In between we had great times listening and seeing
the SSTV pictures from Mir. I have never found school kids very excited
about the aprs and Packet. It is too  abstract and web like to inspire their
imaginations. The fun in these modes will come later as they aquire the
technical challenge that is the beauty of this type of operating.

What is needed is SSTV from ISS on a regular weekday schedule. Not just for
hams, but for their kids and their communities kids.

Al Emer, N2YAC


At 01:39 PM 04/20/2001 -0700, you wrote:
>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?
>Via the sarex mailing list at AMSAT.ORG courtesy of AMSAT-NA.
>To unsubscribe, send "unsubscribe sarex" to Majordomo@amsat.org

Via the sarex mailing list at AMSAT.ORG courtesy of AMSAT-NA.
To unsubscribe, send "unsubscribe sarex" to Majordomo@amsat.org