Dave Jordan, AA4KN
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ARISS to Attempt Second Test of New
Multipoint Telebridge Contact via Amateur Radio
May 10, 2020—Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is announcing a second test of its new distance-learning ARISS radio contacts with astronauts. ARISS is the group that puts together special amateur radio contacts between students around the globe and astronauts with ham radio licenses on the International Space Station (ISS).
This will be the second test of the new-style radio contact, called Multipoint Telebridge Contact via Amateur Radio. The concept was developed for distance learning when schools closed worldwide due to COVID-19. The virus eliminated all opportunities for ARISS radio contacts at education organizations. A new ARISS telebridge radio ground station will be used this time, this operated by John Sygo, amateur radio call sign ZS6JON, near Johannesburg, South Africa.
The new concept requires three things. The ARISS telebridge radio ground station--a satellite ham radio station with special equipment that an ARISS team member uses for teleconferencing, the ham astronaut on the ISS using the ARISS ham radio station, and students at their homes. The telebridge radio operator links to the astronaut at the ARISS radio mic, and each youth ties in from home via their telephones. Their families can listen along with faculty and the public from home. Each student takes a turn asking their question of the astronaut.
The youth taking part in ARISS’s second test belong to the Airdrie Space Science Club in Airdrie, AB, Canada The radio contact is scheduled for May 15 at 15:10 UTC. ISS Commander Chris Cassidy, amateur radio call sign KF5KDR, will support the ARISS radio contact. Prior to COVID, the students had participated in space and radio communications lessons such as balloon launches with ham radio payloads and building model rockets to launch. Brian Jackson, amateur radio call sign VE6JBJ, is one of the five club leaders. He related, “During this pandemic, our opportunities to develop kids’ interest in space has been interrupted. This ARISS contact gets them looking back up, towards the sky, and imagining themselves as an astronaut one day.”
ARISS invites the public to view the livestream of the upcoming ARISS radio test at: https://youtu.be/2mflSlShPHA.
During the contact, youth will ask as many of the following questions as time allows:
1. How has seeing Earth from its orbit affected you, in your frame of reference when moving around the ISS, or in your perspective of humanity as a whole?
2. What happens if you vomit in the space station? How do you clean it up?
3. How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected you while you are in space?
4. What will be your first meal when you get back to Earth?
5. What does it feel like when the rocket lifts off?
6. What does the space station smell like?
7. Was training to be an astronaut harder or easier than training to be a navy seal?
8. What experiment that you've done had the most unexpected results? What was the expected and actual outcome of said experiment?
9. How successful is your 3-D printer on the station?
10. We are a model rocket building club. Did you ever build model rockets when you were young?
11. What does microgravity feel like on your body?
12. Does the Earth look any clearer or less polluted now compared to when you flew in 2009 and with Canadian Chris Hadfield in 2013?
13. Do you play any games while you are on the ISS?
14. What kind of music do you listen to?
Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is a cooperative venture of international amateur radio societies and the space agencies that support the International Space Station (ISS). In the United States, sponsors are the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the ISS National Lab and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The primary goal of ARISS is to promote exploration of science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics topics by organizing scheduled contacts via amateur radio between crew members aboard the ISS and students. Before and during these radio contacts, students, educators, parents, and communities learn about space, space technologies, and amateur radio. For more information, see www.ariss.org.
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