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2009-02-23 ARISS Status



Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Status Report
February 23, 2009



1. Upcoming School Contacts

An Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact has been scheduled with Oregon City Schools, Fassett Middle School in Oregon, Ohio. The ARISS program was incorporated into the curriculum as students studied the positions and motions of objects in the universe, matter and gravity. The students learned about how the universe has been explored and studied how technology affects the quality of life.  A contest was held to determine the questions to be asked of the astronaut. The contact will take place on Monday, February 23 at 14:35 UTC.  Audio from this contact will be fed into the EchoLink AMSAT (101377) and JK1ZRW (277208) servers.

Chatham Public School in Taree, NSW, Australia, will experience an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact on Wednesday, February 25 at 07:32 UTC via telebridge station K6DUE in Maryland. The school has an enrollment of approximately 325 students, ages 5-12. The ARISS contact has been integrated into the school unit on Communication, Space and the Future. The students have been following the ISS crew's mission, which has been reported on in the school and community newsletters, the local paper and on television. The event will take place at the studios of Radio 2RE. The 38 radio stations belonging to the Super Radio Network are expected to cover the event the following day.  The New Zealand Prime Minister, The Honorable John Key, plans to attend the event to extend his greetings to Mike from the Asia/Pacific region, and to ask the first question.  The audio will be fed into the EchoLink AMSAT server and into IRLP node 9010.

An Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact has been scheduled with 1 Circolo Didattico G. Marconi in Casamassima, Italy. The contact will take place on Wednesday, February 25 at 07:50 UTC. The ARISS program will be incorporated into the school's science curriculum and students will learn about amateur radio and of the importance of space missions.  The media have been contacted; newspapers, television and radio stations are expected to cover the event.

An Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact has been scheduled with Hampton Bays Middle School in Hampton Bays, New York. The school curriculum includes topics on planets, the solar system and space travel.  Students have been encouraged to investigate careers in the aerospace industry. Weather, space flights, and astronomy have been covered in their science classes. An essay contest was held in grades 5-8 to determine which students will speak to the astronaut.  The contact will take place on Wednesday, February 25 at 13:57 UTC.

2. Upcoming Simulated Contacts

Several simulated Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contacts have been scheduled.  These training sessions are terrestrial-based amateur radio contacts using ARISS-equivalent equipment. Audio will be available on IRLP.  All times are approximate.

Tuesday, February 24:
18:45 UTC - European Space Center and Frank DeWinne, ON1DWN 
19:00 UTC - Canadian School and Bob Thirsk, W5/VA3CSA, 

Wednesday, March 4:
14:30 UTC - Technopolis, Belgium and Andre Kuipers, PI9ISS 
14:45 UTC - Bedford South School, Bedford, Nova Scotia, Canada and Chris Hadfield,   VA3OOG 
15:00 UTC - Bedford South School, Bedford, Nova Scotia, Canada and Cady Coleman,     KC5ZTH

3. South Park Students Speak with ISS

On Tuesday, February 17, an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact took place between South Park Elementary Center in South Park, Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh native Mike Fincke, KE5AIT, on the ISS.  Telebridge station K6DUE in Maryland facilitated the contact.  An audience of approximately 460 watched as twenty questions were asked and answered.  The audio was fed into the EchoLink AMSAT and JK1ZRW servers and received 7 connections from stations in England and the U.S.   The event received extensive media coverage from television stations and newspapers. The links follow.

CBS affiliate:
http://kdka.com/video/?id=53487@kdka.dayport.com    

ABC affiliate:
http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/news/18730162/detail.html?taf=pit
 
NBC affiliate:
http://www.wpxi.com/news/18729533/detail.html

Pittsburgh Post Gazette:
http://www.pittsburghpostgazette.com/pg/09049/949857-52.stm

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_612166.html

4. Salluit Students Question Astronaut via Radio

Students attending Salluit Schools in Salluit, Quebec, Canada experienced an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact on Thursday, February 19 via telebridge station W6SRJ in California. Mike Fincke, KE5AIT, answered 15 questions posed to him by the students. The audio was fed into the EchoLink AMSAT and JK1ZRW servers and received 6 connections from the U.S., Spain, Italy and England. Approximately 450 parents, elders and students (out of a village of 1000) were present for the contact. Parents were out and about early in the day, indicating this event was a huge accomplishment, as they do not normally come out early this time of year due to the severe cold. ARISS mentor Steve McFarlane remarked, "The contact was a huge success - these people really enjoyed the experience and are ever thankful to the parties involved for their work in showing their children that there are incredible discoveries and adventures to be had - all they have to do, is believe... apparently we moved them a little closer to that today...."

5. Erie Planetarium Contact Successful

On Saturday, February 21, Erie Planetarium in Pennsylvania participated in an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact with Mike Fincke, KE5AIT, via telebridge station W6SRJ in California. Twelve students asked 21 questions of the astronaut in front of a crowd of 200.  At least one television station reported on the event.  The audio was fed into the EchoLink AMSAT and JK1ZRW servers and had 13 connections, including one repeater, from 8 countries. Among those listening were stations in China, New Zealand and Spain. 

A ham operator who was manning a Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT) exhibit table at a Yuma, Arizona hamfest used his radio to listen to the contact as part of his demonstrations. Even though only the ISS side of the contact was heard, the crowd enjoyed hearing Mike answer the questions. 

6. SuitSat-2 Meeting Held

The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) team held a SuitSat-2 meeting on Friday - Sunday, February 20 - 22 in Phoenix, Arizona. Status reports of the different modules were given and reviewed and the team began integration testing.

7. ARISS International Team Meeting Held

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) held its monthly teleconference on Tuesday, February 17.  Agenda items discussed included the upcoming face-to-face meeting to be held in the Netherlands in June, Charles Simonyi's planned activities during his mission in March and a status on SuitSat-2. The minutes have been posted to the ARISS Web site.  See: http://www.rac.ca/ariss/arisstel2009-02-17.htm

8. ARRL Letter Article on Dieter Schliemann 

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) team member Dieter Schliemann, KX4Y, passed away on Monday, February 9.  Dieter had been responsible for coordinating and expanding the educational outreach of ARISS through the use of Voice over the Internet Protocol (VoIP) with Internet Radio Linking Project (IRLP) and EchoLink.  As his health deteriorated, Dieter continued his support, making sure that others would carry on in his absence.  He will be sorely missed.  Dieter was a member of the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT) and the American Radio Relay League (ARRL).  The ARRL Letter posted an article on his contributions: https://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/09/0220/

9. German School Contact Update

Städtisches Gymnasium Herzogenrath in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany participated in an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact with Mike Fincke, KE5AIT, on Saturday, February 7.  New links are available for related photos, audio, video and newspaper articles.  See: http://www.darc.de/g14/ARISS.html 
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Sent via sarex@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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