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2008-12-22 ARISS Status

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Status Report
December 22, 2008

1. Upcoming School Contacts

Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum in Ann Arbor, Michigan has been scheduled for an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact on Saturday, December 27 at 15:53 UTC. The museum provides opportunities to people of all ages to discover science, math and technology in an interactive environment. Science literacy is promoted through experimentation, exploration and education. Among the 200,000 that visit the museum annually are 36,000 students. The museum has received national recognition by the National Science Foundation, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Association of Science and Technology Centers. The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum is consistently rated the Best Kids' Activity in the annual "Best of Ann Arbor" list. Utilizing the amateur radio station exhibit at the museum to make contact with the ISS will provide validation of how technology can make such an event possible. 

An Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact has been scheduled with Technopolis in Mechelen, Belgium on Monday, December 29 at 11:43 UTC via telebridge station WH6PN in Hawaii. The mission of Technopolis is to bring science and technology to the public. The center has permanent and temporary exhibits and organizes workshops, school activities and other outreach activities. The ARISS contact will be open to all school children 6 -18 years of age and will be supported through a workshop, lecture or science show. 

2. Canadian School Contact Successful

Students from King George Elementary School in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada took part in a question and answer session with Sandra Magnus, KE5FYE. The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact took place on Monday, December 15. Ten students were able to ask one question each of the astronaut as an audience of 320 looked on. Ray Boughen, Minister of Education Provincial Parliament, Dale McBain, City of Moose Jaw Mayor (both former educators) and Brenda Edwards, Director of Education for Prairie South School Division attended. Television stations taped the event and interviewed the children.  Radio station CHAB interviewed the school coordinator.  The Moose Jaw Times Herald printed an article covering the contact.  See:

The story includes links to the contact video:

Principal Ward Milligan commented, "It was an awesome 'once in a lifetime experience' that will become more important in the lives of these students as they look back upon this event in years to come.  Having a personal contact with someone in space increased the students' interest in space by three fold.  Sandra Magnus was very enthusiastic and answered the students' questions in a manner they could relate to.  She was very encouraging of the students.  It was an inspirational and moving experience." 

3. Italian Students Radio ISS

On Thursday, December 18, students from Scuola Elementare Faleriense "Gianni Rodari" in Porto Sant'Elpidio, Italy participated in an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact with Mike Fincke, KE5AIT as over three hundred students, teachers and parents gathered for the event. Twenty-one students questioned the astronaut and Season's Greetings were exchanged. RAI3 Regional Television and some local media and newspapers covered the event. The audio was fed into the EchoLink servers. For more information, including photos and audio, go to: www.ariss-eu.org/2008_12_18.htm

The Corriere News ran an article (in Italian):

ESA mentions the recent Marco Polo, Circolo Didattico San Giuseppe and Gianni Rodari contacts in this story (also in Italian):

4. Garriott Interview Available

Science fiction writer Tracy Hickman interviewed Richard Garriott, W5KWQ about his ISS mission. Richard talked about his experience with the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program and the ham community worldwide.  The entire interview is 2h 45m long and is available in 3 installments at: http://feeds.feedburner.com/Dragonhearth.

5. ARISS International Meeting Held

The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) team meeting was held on Tuesday, December 16. Agenda items included the next face-to-face meeting, SuitSat-2 development status and the ARISS special event. Minutes have been posted to the ARISS Web site.  See: http://www.rac.ca/ariss/arisstel2008-12-16.htm

6. Astronaut Training Status

Astronaut Michael Barratt, KD5MIJ, took a refresher course on the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) equipment and operations on Wednesday, December 17. Barratt is looking forward to supporting the program during his time on board the ISS as an Expedition 19 crew member. Expedition 19 is the first half of the planned 6 person crew.

7. 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 January 2009 issue of QST.
Under "Media Hits" (page 12) is a lengthy paragraph about how the media coverage for Richard Garriott, W5KWQ, was very prolific.
A story on pages 59-60 is about Andrea Hartlage, KG4IUM, a student at Georgia Tech who's a ham and was quite interested in ARISS. She was friends with a ham teacher at a middle school near her middle school; the teacher had applied for an ARISS contact.  The story is called "DXpedition to Planet Mars" and is about Andrea's involvement in the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS).  It says at the end that she wants to be an astronaut.
Two columns under "Happenings" (page 63) are titled "Richard Garriott; W5KWQ Back on Terra Firma" which is about Richard and ARISS.  It carries two pictures - one of the students in Austin who contacted him during his mission in space and the other is a photo of Richard.

 "Grants Focus on the Future of Amateur Radio" (page 95) covers three groups that won ARRL Foundation grants.
One grant was given to the Eagle Scouts of Indiana who took part in an ARISS contact at the Space Jamboree 2008. The grant received was used to fund equipment for electronic building projects at the Space Jamboree which helped scouts complete the electronics merit badge. The equipment also served other regional and national scout gatherings to introduce amateur radio.
Another group that received an award was the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum which is scheduled for an ARISS contact on December 27. The money received funded a ham station (and antenna) in the museum lobby.

8. ARRL and AMSAT Articles on ARISS Special Event

The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) ran a Web story about the 25th anniversary of ham radio in space. It includes the latest news covering the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) special event. See: http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2008/12/18/10509/?nc=1

The ARRL also issued a W1AW bulletin on the same subject and an article was published in the ARRL Letter.  See: http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/08/1219/

The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT) posted the ARISS special event news on its Web site.  See: http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/index.php
Sent via sarex@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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