ARISS Contact is Scheduled with Students at West Ferris Intermediate Secondary School, North Bay, Ontario, Canada
November 26, 2022—Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) has received schedule confirmation for an ARISS radio contact between astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and students at the West Ferris Intermediate Secondary School located in ON, Canada. ARISS conducts 60-80 of these special amateur radio contacts each year between students around the globe and crew members with ham radio licenses aboard the ISS.
West Ferris Intermediate Secondary School (with about 1100 students enrolled) is a grade 7 - 12 English public school located in North Bay, Ontario about 350 kilometers north of Toronto on the shores of Lake Nipissing. The school also serves several rural communities in the Nipissing District. Their curriculum offers innovative and diverse programming including French immersion, competitive athletic teams, and fine arts, and is the residence of the city’s STEAM program. West Ferris students at the intermediate level are supported in a creative science program where problem solving and technological creativity is at the fore.
Amateur Radio is an important component of the school's Near Space Program in which
students plan and execute stratospheric balloon launches under the guidance of an amateur radio operator/teacher. Students explore the theory and implementation of radio technology through
the use of the Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) for payload tracking. Students learn the concepts of wave propagation, polarity, wavelength and frequency and the applications of these concepts. The School’s Near Space Program was started in 2018 with a stratospheric balloon launch in October, another on May 14, 2019, with plans to continue and expand the initiative in coming years. Members of the North Bay Amateur Radio Club (VE3NBC) provide technical support for the launches, an APRS gateway for tracking, and participate in the payload retrieval in chase cars.
This will be a telebridge Contact via Amateur Radio allowing students to ask their questions of Astronaut Koichi Wakata, amateur radio call sign KI5TMN. Local Covid-19 protocols are adhered to as applicable for each ARISS contact. The downlink frequency for this contact is 145.800 MHZ and may be heard by listeners that are within the ISS-footprint that also encompasses the telebridge station.
The ARISS amateur radio ground station (telebridge station) for this contact is in Aartselaar, Belgium. The amateur radio volunteer team at the ground station will use the callsign ON4ISS, to establish and maintain the ISS connection.
The ARISS radio contact is scheduled for November 28, 2022 at 10:58:45 am EST (ON, CANADA) (15:58:45 UTC, 9:58 am CST, 8:58 am MST, 7:58 am PST).
As time allows, students will ask these questions:
1. Do you feel any changes when you return to Earth?
2. What do you do during your free time?
3. What is your favorite and least favorite food in space?
4. How long did it take to get into space?
5. Why did you decide to become an astronaut?
6. What does your sleep schedule look like?
7. How much food do you consume a day?
8. How do you clean the station?
9. Is it difficult to contact your family while there?
10. When first entering space, do you feel any differences inside your body? For instance, your organs moving?
11. What is the coolest thing you have seen while on station?
12. Are space suits uncomfortable?
13. How long have you been an astronaut?
14. How do you keep your bones from getting weaker in space and how do you restrengthen them after returning?
15. Once in space, how long do you have to be there for?
16. Has there been anything that you weren’t prepared for that you thought you were?
17. How do you deal with an illness in space and have no medication to help the person who is ill?