ARISS Contact is Scheduled with Summer Camp Students at Kopernik Observatory & Science Center, Vestal, New York, USA
August 7, 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 Kopernik Observatory & Science Center located in Vestal, New York. 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.
Opened in 1974, The Kopernik Observatory & Science Center (KOSC) is a non-profit informal educational institution that promotes interdisciplinary education in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Through its classes, events and programs, KOSC has offered hundreds of thousands of students of all ages the opportunity to engage and actively learn a variety of STEM subjects. KOSC’s resources include three permanent telescopes, a heliostat, weather station, three classrooms, computer lab, portable planetarium and an amateur radio station. KOSC is also the home of the Kopernik Astronomical Society, the local astronomy club, and the Binghamton Amateur Radio Association (BARA) (callsign W2OW). KOSC offers an outreach program to the local schools, and a STEM-based, summer camp for students between 2nd and 12th grades. This year is the 30th KOSC summer STEM camps, and in preparation for the ARISS contact, one camp, entitled “Welcome Aboard the ISS”, showed 5th and 6th grade students what it takes to become an astronaut, how astronauts train for a mission and what research is being done on the ISS. Students are also learning about satellite orbits and radio communication. Camp activities include building a tape measure 2-meter, 3-element yagi antenna and how to use it during a Fox Hunt. Students also learned about Software Defined Receivers (SDRs) by listening to communications accessed via SDRs online. Students also create and decode images using Slow Scan TV (SSTV), including pre-recorded SSTV images sent by the ISS. BARA members are supporting Kopernik Observatory staff in the set up and operation of the amateur radio station during the ARISS contact.
This will be a direct contact via Amateur Radio allowing students to ask their questions of Astronaut Bob Hines, amateur radio call sign KI5RQT. 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 Vestal, N.Y., USA. Amateur radio operators using call sign K2ZRO, will operate the ground station to establish and maintain the ISS connection.
The ARISS radio contact is scheduled for August 10, 2022 at 12:11 pm EDT (New York) (16:11UTC, 11:11 am CDT, 10:11 am MDT, 9:11 am PDT).
The public is invited to watch the live stream at: https://youtu.be/2Vf_ZnYc8Cs
As time allows, students will ask these questions:
1. What was going through your mind going from earth to space?
2. How do you stay in touch with your family so they know you're ok?
3. How does a magnet act in space?
4. What do you do for fun activities?
5. After a long journey in space, how long did it take for you to learn how to walk again?
6. What does the Earth look like from the space station?
7. Who is your role model?
8. What was your favorite moment in space
9. How do you prevent sickness in space and if you get sick, how is it treated?
10. What kind of experiments do you perform on the International Space Station and how would these experiments be different in gravity?
11. What does it feel like to be weightless?
12. What is the coolest/craziest thing you have seen from up there?
13. Can you see the aurora from the ISS and take pictures of it?
14. Do astronauts play music instruments in the space station?
15. What is your favorite part of being in the ISS?
16. I read that water and oxygen is recycled on the ISS. How much total water and oxygen is needed per astronaut in space?
17. How can I be an astronaut like you?
18. What is the most challenging thing about leaving your family for space?
19. What special exercises do they have to do to stay healthy in space?