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2011-03-14 ARISS Status

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Status Report
March 14, 2011

1. Upcoming School Contacts

Fair Lawn High School, Fair Lawn, New Jersey has been scheduled for an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact on Monday, March 14 at 15:44 UTC. The contact will be integrated into the curriculum covering space and earth science as well as human anatomy and physiology.  

Students from five schools in Plock and Liszyno, Poland will jointly participate in an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact on Thursday, March 17 at 09:21 UTC.  Through this activity and related studies, students will learn about space and space exploration, communication and technology. The Scout Amateur Radio Club SP5ZBA will handle the radio connection for the contact.

An ARISS contact has been scheduled for Luitpold-Gymnasium Muenchen, Munich, Bavaria, Germany on Thursday, March 17 at 14:05 UTC. To prepare for their contact, seventeen year olds taking the course "Spaceflight" were joined by children from lower grades to learn about aeronautics and scientific work. The ESA ISS Education Kit was used in their studies and the German amateur radio organization (DARC) gave the youth a comprehensive introduction to amateur radio on the ISS.

ISIP Cossar / Da Vinci, Gorizia, Italy has been scheduled for an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact on Saturday, March 19 at 08:38 UTC. The radio contact, the telecommunication equipment installed and used in the school as well as the collaboration with a local group of amateur radio operators will offer telecommunications students the chance to test instruments able to connect to listening posts 300 km away.  

2. Recent ARISS Contacts 

On Tuesday, March 8, youth from ICS "Marco D'oggiono", Oggiono, Italy spoke with Paolo Nespoli, IZØJPA via an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact. The astronaut fielded 13 questions before the ISS went over the horizon. Students wanted to know for example, what one needs to do to become an astronaut and what type of research is performed on the ISS. The contact was the featured event of lessons emphasizing astronautics, astronomy, radio techniques and English. Nearly 400 students and teachers and about 100 visitors were present for the contact. Regional television, local media and newspapers covered the event.

An ARISS contact took place between youth attending Schulhaus Dorf in Richterswil, Switzerland and on-orbit astronaut Cady Coleman, KC5ZTH on Tuesday, March 8. Coleman answered the 22 questions prepared for her with time left to exchange greetings.  The contact was the culmination of science lessons on space and gave the students the opportunity to practice their English. 

Students from "Francesco d'Assisi" Middle School and "Don Lorenzo Milani" Primary School in Modugno, Bari, Italy, experienced an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact on Saturday, March 12. The event was held at "Cittadella Mediterranea della Scienza" in Bari where an audience of approximately 150 students, teachers, visitors and media were assembled.  Astronaut Paolo Nespoli, IZØJPA on the ISS spoke with the youth over 2 consecutive passes, answering 30 questions about what it is like to live in space. He answered a final question concerning the earthquake in Japan and expressed his concern for the Japanese.  Regional television, local media and newspapers covered the event.

On Saturday, March 12, Shri Krishna Vithyaalayam Matric School in Pollachi, India participated in an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact with ISS astronaut Cady Coleman, KC5ZTH via telebridge station IK1SLD in Italy. Twelve questions were asked and answered. The contact was integrated into science lessons about astronomy, satellites and the ISS and included radio classes taught by the Anamalai Amateur Radio Club located at the school.

3. Astronaut Training Status 

Astronauts Luca Parmitano (Expedition 36) and Chris Cassidy (Expedition 35) both passed their amateur radio license exams on March 8. Their call signs should be issued within a week.

On March 9, Michael Hopkins completed his ARISS introductory course and is currently preparing for his amateur radio license exam. Hopkins is slated to fly with Expedition 37 in September 2013.

An ARISS refresher course was provided to Chris Hadfield, KC5RNJ/VA3OOG on March 11. Hadfield is currently scheduled for Expedition 34, November 2012.

4. ARRL QST Covers ARISS Activities

The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) printed a few ARISS items in its April issue of QST, which has a circulation of 156,000.  Under its "Media Hits" column was a piece about ARISS and the newspaper articles and TV news stories about Adobe Bluffs Elementary School's ARISS contact and about Foster Heights Elementary/Nelson County Area Technical Center in Kentucky.  The "Inside HQ" column, a column giving ARRL 2010 highlights, had a paragraph on education programs including the 48 ARISS QSOs of 2010 (not NASA's fiscal year 2010), and ARISS's 10th anniversary.

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