ARISS Contact is Scheduled with Students at West Michigan Aviation Academy, High School, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
April 18, 2023—Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) has received schedule confirmation for an ARISS radio contact between an astronaut aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and students at the West Michigan Aviation Academy, High School located in Grand Rapids, MI. 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 Michigan Aviation Academy (WMAA) is a tuition-free public charter high school that is STEM-focused specializing in aviation and engineering programs for grades 9 through 12. WMAA opened in 2010 and is located on the campus of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, MI. Part of WMAA’s curriculum includes a pathway to earn a private pilot license, as well as qualifying to take the FAA Licensing Test after completing their Unmanned Aerial Systems (“drone”) courses. Other classes include studies in space exploration and principles of radio communication and include their year-long Aerospace Engineering course. Members of the Lowell Amateur Radio Club are supporting this ARISS contact by helping with radio equipment setup, Amateur satellite practice contacts, and a ham licensing event.
This will be a direct contact via Amateur Radio allowing students to ask their questions of Astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi, amateur radio call sign KI5VTV. 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 relay ground station.
The amateur radio ground station for this contact is in Grand Rapids, MI. Amateur radio operators using call sign W8ISS, will operate the ground station to establish and maintain the ISS connection.
The ARISS radio contact is scheduled for April 20, 2023 at 2:20:54 pm EDT (Grand Rapids) (18:20:54 UTC, 1:20 pm CDT, 12:20 pm MDT, 11:20 am PDT).
As time allows, students will ask these questions:
1. How did you build and maintain the motivation to become an astronaut?
2. What type of clothes and personal belongings do you bring to space and why?
3. What kind of training do you get as an astronaut to mentally prepare you for the challenges of missions in space?
4. What are the hardest adjustments to living in space for long periods of time?
5. How has travelling to space affected your perspective on life and of the planet?
6. Is it possible to get stuck in an open area of the space station where you cannot grab or push against anything to generate a force? If so, how do you get unstuck?
7. Does electricity behave differently in orbit on the space station and does it require any special precautions?
8. How do you deal with human waste and garbage on the space station?
9. What kinds of plant or animal research is being done on the space station?
10. How does the lack of sunlight and gravity affect plant growth on the space station?
11. How do you prevent or respond to serious injuries in space?
12. What personality or leadership traits is the space program looking for in astronaut candidates to be best prepared to go on space missions?
13. How is the mental health of the space station crew monitored?
14. What subjects or lessons from your high school or college education do you apply most often on the space station?
15. What are some things I can do now, as a high school student, to prepare to become an astronaut?