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Greenville ISS Contact



Greetings Fellow Amateurs,

I was privileged to witness the ISS contact conducted yesterday (Thursday)
at Lamar Elementary in Greenville, Texas.  Wow, what a show!  I took the
event photos you see on the ARRL web site and I have a CD of about 50 shots
in all.  Each shot is high resolution digital and is over 1.5 meg in size,
so a CD is needed to hold them all.  If you would like a copy, contact me
directly.

Fourth-grader Kyle Bryant has already decided that he wants to be an
astronaut.  Whether he changes his mind later or not, seeds were planted for
the future at Lamar Elementary.  We know that for sure.

This brings up an interesting point...the first SAREX contact was done
nearly 20 years ago (in 1983) from a shuttle by Owen Garriot.  He used a
simple handheld radio and window mounted antenna.  Since those humble
beginnings, the SAREX and ARISS programs have allowed hundreds (or
thousands) of students to take to astronauts in space.

The goal of the program has always been to stimulate interest in space,
science, and technology.  Presumably, some of the early "student talkers"
would be well into their careers by now.

I wonder if anybody has researched just how much impact the SAREX and ARISS
programs have had so far.  Did any of those students go on to become
astronauts, engineers, or scientists?  Where are they now, and how did the
event impact their career decisions?

I know that finding and interviewing every student who ever talked to an
astronaut via ham radio would be a daunting challenge.  (The various high
school and college alumni associations probably know where these adults are
now.)

At the very least we have made some friends of ham radio over the years.  I
bet we have inspired some young minds too.  But we don't know who they are
or what they have done in life.

I wish somebody would undertake the research task.  Any comments on this
idea?

73, James Alderman, KF5WT
Dallas, TX


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