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2008-11-24 ARISS Status

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Status Report
November 24, 2008

1. Upcoming School Contacts

The Wairarapa Home School Association in Carterton, Wairarapa, New Zealand has been scheduled for an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact on Wednesday, November 26 at 02:22 UTC via telebridge station VK4KHZ in Australia.  Students have been learning about space exploration and the International Space Station to prepare for the contact. Age appropriate studies, exercises, and activities have been undertaken by all those who will be involved in the event which will include some of the parents.

An Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact has been scheduled with St. Anthony's College in Shillong, India on Monday, December 1 at 08:04 UTC. Telebridge station WH6PN will facilitate the contact.

An Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact has been approved for Alexandroupolis School of Special Education and 11th Alexandroupolis Primary School in Alexandroupolis, Greece. The contact will take place on Monday, December 1 at 12:14 UTC.  Astronomy and amateur radio lectures have been given in preparation for the event.  Special attention has been given to the role of humanity and science and to the every day life of an astronaut. The ISS courses have been based on ESA's education tool "ISS Education Kit."  

Quispamsis Elementary and Middle Schools in Quispamsis, New Brunswick, Canada have been scheduled for an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact on Thursday, December 4 at 18:02 UTC. Math, Social Studies, and Literacy Skills have been emphasized through the participation of students in this project.  Subjects of amateur radio, space, satellites and the ISS have been integrated into the science curriculum.  Quispamsis Elementary School (QES) and the Loyalist City Amateur Radio Club (LCARC) have participated in AMSAT-Echo-51 Satellite contacts for the past two years. The Quispamsis Middle School has an enrichment program.  Two years of students who participated in the satellite contacts at QES are also involved with this program.  The amateur radio installation has been used to complement the enrichment program, and to demonstrate amateur radio to girl guides and scout troops. Children have created posters for placement in the school to publicize the event and local and national media coverage is anticipated.

2. First ARISS School Contact in New Zealand Successful

The first Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact with a school in New Zealand took place on Thursday, November 20.  Students from St. Teresa's School in Wairarapa connected with the ISS via the telebridge station VK4KHZ in Australia.  Astronaut Mike Fincke, KE5AIT answered all questions from the 21 students as an audience of 130 watched.  The audio was fed into the EchoLink AMSAT (101 377) and JK1ZRW (277 208) servers and received 7 connections from stations in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the U.S.  There was extensive media coverage which included TVNZ, The Dominion Post, The Wellington Daily News and The Wairarapa Times Age. The contact was first reported on the late news on TV One at 10.30 pm on Thursday evening. It was repeated on 4 different occasions during the Early Morning and Midday news on TV One and a 3-4 minute slot was given in the Friday 6 pm evening news. The New Zealand Education Gazette editor also asked for details regarding the contact, as it is being written up for the December issue.

The Dominion Post article has been posted on-line. See: http://www.stuff.co.nz/4767581a6479.html 

To view The Wairarapa Times Age story, go to: http://www.times-age.co.nz/localnews/storydisplay.cfm?storyid=3790845&thesection=localnews&thesubsection=&thesecondsubsection=

TVNZ One News coverage may be found here: http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/2324497

3. ARISS Celebrates International Education Week

Students from Poolesville, Maryland, Raleigh, North Carolina and Quito, Ecuador participated in a joint Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact on Friday, November 14 as part of International Education Week (IEW). 
The students, as well as family members and other guests, reconvened on Tuesday, November 18. Poolesville High School students visited the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C. where approximately 150 students participated, and the North Carolina and Ecuador schools tied in via videoconference for another IEW session. Former astronaut Don Thomas gave a presentation on International Exploration, from the past to the present, and ARISS Chairman Frank Bauer gave an overview of amateur radio and the ARISS contact using video of the students from the contact event.  They joined GSFC Earth Observation expert Robert Cahalan in the expert panel session.  Amateur radio operators from Hawaii, Italy, China, England, Spain, and Canada participated through a teleconference, giving talks about amateur radio and the culture of their countries. Students participated in the sessions and asked questions in English, but also in foreign languages such as Spanish and German.

4. ARISS International Team Meeting Held

The monthly Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) International Team teleconference was held on Tuesday, November 18.  Agenda items discussed included the next ARISS face to face meeting, SuitSat-2 status and on-orbit hardware. The minutes have been posted to the ARISS Web site.  See: http://www.rac.ca/ariss/arisstel2008-11-18.htm

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