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2011-03-07 ARISS Status

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Status Report
March 7, 2011

1. Upcoming School Contact

Shri Krishna Vithyaalayam Matric School, Pollachi (TK), India has been scheduled for an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact on Saturday, March 12 at 13:34 UTC via station IK1SLD in Italy. The Anamalai Amateur Radio Club located at the school has been teaching students about the radio. In addition, the astronomy club organized sky watching sessions, and a U.S. scientist visited the school to talk about satellites and the ISS. The ARISS contact will underscore the lessons learned in these activities.

2. Recent ARISS Contacts 

On Wednesday, March 2 an ARISS contact was held between on-orbit astronaut Paolo Nespoli, IZØJPA and Mackay State High School students in Queensland, Australia via telebridge station VK5ZAI, Australia. All 16 questions were answered. One of the approximately 200 people in attendance was the mayor of Mackay who asked the ARISS team to "keep up the good work - you are doing a great job inspiring our students." He expressed his amazement on how well timed and extremely enjoyable the contact was. Three television stations covered the radio hookup and snippets of the event were broadcast on at least 2 regional TV channels all afternoon following the contact. The Mackay Daily Mercury wrote a story on the event: http://www.dailymercury.com.au/story/2011/03/03/historic-link-to-space-mackay-high-school/

Technological Centre for Innovation in Communications (CeTIC) in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain experienced a successful ARISS contact on Thursday, March 3. Astronaut Paolo Nespoli, IZØJPA answered all 20 questions posed to him by the students. The contact supplemented lessons on orbit prediction, satellite tracking and common communications systems.

Victory Primary School in Nelson, New Zealand participated in an ARISS contact on Thursday, March 3 via telebridge station W6SRJ in California. Cady Coleman, KC5ZTH answered 17 questions prepared by the students. One additional query was answered with the help of shuttle crew member Alvin Drew. The contact was the culmination of a science curriculum focused on space and technology.  

3. NASA Posts Article on Ten Years of ARISS Contacts

NASA posted a feature story on the 10th anniversary of ARISS contacts to its Web site. "One Small Radio Call for a Ham" may be found on the following page:

4. AMSAT on ARISSat-1 

On March 6, the AMSAT (Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation) News Service bulletin (ANS-065) provided a status on ARISSat-1. On April 12, the satellite will be connected to an external antenna and turned on to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Gagarin's first manned spaceflight. AMSAT plans to distribute certificates to stations that receive its signals. For more information, see: http://amsat.org/pipermail/ans/2011/000492.html

5. Astronaut Training Status 

A few exam review sessions were provided for Chris Cassidy this past week. 

Astronauts Andre Kuipers, PI9ISS and Don Pettit, KD5MDT participated in simulated ARISS contacts with students in Belgium and Canada, respectively on March 3.

An ARISS introductory course is planned for Mike Hopkins on March 9 and a refresher course for Chris Hadfield is scheduled for March 10.

Sent via sarex@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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