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2011-11-14 ARISS Status

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

1. Upcoming School Contacts

An Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact has been scheduled for A.S.J. Memorial High School, Thetford Mines, Québec, Canada on Monday, November 14 at 15:41 UTC. The school formed a space club and students are being taught about the ISS, radio equipment and radio protocol.

Johnson Space Center (JSC) Education in Houston, Texas has been scheduled for an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact on Tuesday, November 15 at 15:39 UTC via station VK5ZAI in Australia.  Interns and co-ops at JSC participating in the contact will learn about amateur radio technology. Teaching From Space (TFS), a NASA Education office, will help facilitate the event. TFS promotes learning opportunities and builds partnerships with the education community using the unique environment of space and NASA's human spaceflight program.  The students participating in the contact come from the Space Grant Program, the University Research Centers Program, the Undergraduate Student Research Project, and JSC's internal co-op program operated through the JSC Human Resources Department. Each of these programs provides students the opportunity to have hands-on, real-life, career-related experiences that challenge, inspire, and provide practical application that complements and expands upon the students' academic education. 

2. Hospitalized Students Participate in ARISS Contact

On Wednesday, November 9, an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact was held between children at the Rehabilitationszentrum für Kinder und Jugendliche in Affoltern am Albis, Switzerland and ISS Astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, KE5DAW. The venue of this contact was a hospital school that is attended by children during their rehabilitation.   Furukawa was able to answer 13 questions from 9 students during the event, which was attended by approximately 50 people.  The contact had a great impact on the students.  For example, one 14 year old, suffering from a cerebral hemorrhage and unable to speak normally, made a tremendous effort to practice his questions for the contact. Through this event, students learned about space, satellites, radio waves and propagation of radio waves. 

3. New York Students Contact ISS

Students attending Donald P. Sutherland School in Nassau, New York took part in a successful Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact on Thursday, November 10. The children were able to get in all of their questions during the pass, with time for a goodbye to Astronaut Mike Fossum.  The contact was integrated into Language Arts, Mathematics and Technology, Science, Social Studies, Music, Art, Physical Education, and Character Education. Web sites such as NASA Kids and the NASA Digital Learning Network were also utilized by teachers and students to prepare for this event.  WNYT posted video and a story, "Nassau elementary students talk to an astronaut" at: http://thegreenbushes.wnyt.com/news/news/93797-nassau-elementary-students-talk-astronaut

4. ARISS Contact Integrated into EduSat Project

Bari, Italy students attending I.I.S.S. "G. Marconi" School participated in an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact on Saturday, November 12 via station IK1SLD in Italy. Astronaut Mike Fossum, KF5AQG fielded 10 questions put to him by the students with enough time left to exchange greetings.  Local and regional media covered the event. "G. Marconi" is a scientific high school that specializes in technology. More than 600 students are enrolled at the school and the ARI (Radioamateur Association of Bari) is a part of the ISS "Marconi" body. The Institute participates in the EduSat project, headed by ASI (Italian Space Agency) in collaboration with IMT - Ingegneria Marketing e Tecnologia (Italian SME). The ARISS contact was integrated into the EduSat project through which students are studying aerospace, space telecommunications and satellite subsystems. 

5. ARISS Represented at AMSAT Symposium

AMSAT held its annual Space Symposium in San Jose, California on November 4-6.  Dave Taylor, W8AAS (AMSAT-NA US Delegate to ARISS-I) reported to the Board of Directors on ARISS activities over the past year.  He also presented a paper on "ARISS and Education" at the general meeting, on behalf of the paper's authors: Mark Steiner, K3MS, Rosalie White, K1STO, and Debbie Biggs.

ARISSat-1 was a popular topic, with 5 papers presented about topics including telemetry decoding, operations, and lessons learned.  Lou  McFadin, W5DID (ARISS hardware lead) talked about the "Fabrication,  Integration and Testing of ARRISat-1".

A major thrust of the symposium was education and how AMSAT can (and must) provide a complete educational package for its satellites, both to encourage participation in amateur radio and to obtain affordable launch opportunities. AMSAT President Barry Baines, WD4ASW, made this point repeatedly.  A number of papers also addressed education from various angles.  Several AMSAT members attending the symposium formed a team to develop educational products targeted directly at national STEM requirements.  They plan to have amateur radio and satellite activities that teachers can drop into their curriculum.  They hope to have the first few of these available for use while ARISSat-1 is still operational, and then develop more for continuing use to benefit ARISS and future AMSAT satellites.


The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) covered ARISS in its December 2011 issue of QST. The "In Brief" column carried a short item about Astronaut Mike Fossum, KF5AQG, operating on the air while on-orbit during JOTA in October.

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