ARISS Contact is Scheduled with Students at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital (at Vanderbilt University Medical Center) and Seacrest Studios, Nashville, Tennessee, USA
August 22, 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 (patients) at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital located in Nashville, TN. 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.
Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital’s School Program and Seacrest Studios strive to provide an atmosphere of normalization for children that are undergoing treatment by working with the patient’s local school (for students in kindergarten through 12th grade) to provide support for their academic needs. These young patients might be hospitalized for several weeks due to an acute medical need or routinely come to the hospital for short, intermittent stays for specific treatment. Seacrest Studios (located inside the hospital) is a closed-circuit, multi-media broadcast center envisioned and built by the Ryan Seacrest Foundation, an organization dedicated to enhancing the hospital experience for these children while inspiring them through entertainment and education-focused initiatives. The Studios provide programming (including STEM-based programs) that instructs, inspires, and engages patients. In preparation for this ARISS contact, the hospital created a unit of study focused on space exploration and HAM radio technology that provided a progression of activities throughout the year. Members of the Vanderbilt University Amateur Radio Club (VUARC) and the Williamson County Amateur Radio Group have partnered with the hospital by providing students with hands-on lessons in ham radio/ radio technology and amateur radio station operation during this ARISS radio contact.
This will be a direct contact via Amateur Radio and students will take turns asking their questions of Astronaut Kjell Lindgren, amateur radio call sign KO5MOS. 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 relay ground station.
The amateur radio ground station for this contact is in Nashville, TN. Amateur radio operators using call sign N4FR, will operate the ground station to establish and maintain the ISS connection.
The ARISS radio contact is scheduled for August 24, 2022 at 12:42:54 pm CDT (Nashville, TN) (17:42:54 UTC, 1:42 pm EDT, 11:42 am MDT, 10:42 am PDT).
As time allows, students will ask these questions:
1. How does being away from your family for long periods of time affect you while you’re in space?
2. How much do you talk to your family?
3. Can your family and friends send care packages or food?
4. What happens if you get sick in space?
5. Since I have cystic fibrosis, would being on a space station affect my lungs?
6. Has anything happened that you felt might be caused by aliens?
7. What does it feel like when you launch into space?
8. How does it feel to re-enter the atmosphere, and does it affect you at all?
9. Can you see a storm (hurricane) develop in space?
10. What do the stars look like being unhindered by the atmosphere?
11. Is time in space different than time here on Earth (days and nights)?
12. How many days does it take to make it to space from earth?
13. What is it like in space and can I go with you guys?
14. Why is Pluto not considered a planet?
15. How high can you fly in the sky?
16. How is your reception?
17. How do you sleep without floating away?
18. What happens when you run out of food?
19. How long does it take to get to Mars?
20. How big is the rocket in person?