ARISS Contact is Scheduled with Children at The Children’s Inn at NIH (National Institutes of Health), Bethesda, Maryland, USA
May 23, 2023—Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) has received schedule confirmation for an ARISS radio contact between an Axiom Mission (Ax-2) astronaut aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and children at the Children’s Inn at NIH located in Bethesda, MD. 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.
This will be a telebridge Contact via Amateur Radio allowing students to ask their questions of Astronaut John Shoffner, amateur radio call sign KO4MJC. Shoffner is a STEM advocate, business pioneer, and life-long space enthusiast, John Shoffner will serve as pilot for Axiom Space’s Ax-2 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) on the SpaceX Dragon. Shoffner currently lives in Knoxville, Tennessee, and is honored to have this opportunity to not only achieve one of his greatest life’s dreams but also to use the Ax-2 mission to ignite a passion for STEM education in teachers and students worldwide to each pursue their ambitions.
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 May 26, 2023 at 1:31:38 pm EDT (MD) (17:31:38 UTC, 12:31 pm CDT, 11:31 am MDT, 10:31 am PDT).
As time allows, students will ask these questions:
1. What do you do to keep the food that you eat from going bad?
2. Before our solar system consisted of 9 planets. Why are we now discounting Pluto as a planet in our solar system?
3. What type of materials have you used while experimenting during your mission?
4. Has ISS discovered anything about life, vegetation, or water in its studies throughout the years?
5. What would happen if the magnetosphere that protects Earth stopped working?
6. What is your favorite part about being an astronaut?
7. How much training do you need to have in order to prepare for a space launch?
8. How does time feel in space? Does it affect you in any way?
9. How long have you been out in space?
10. What made you want to go into space? What are some risk factors you take into consideration?
11. Can you describe what liftoff is like? Do you get nervous?
12. What kind of things do you experiment with? Plants? Seeds? Other things?
13. What is the most interesting or beautiful thing that you have experienced in space?
14. How do you go to the bathroom in space?
15. How do you feel physically in space? Will it be hard readjusting when you come back from space?
16. What kind of food do you miss from home that you don’t have in space?
17. What is your day-to-day routine in space?
18. Is it comfortable sleeping in space?
19. What made you want to become an astronaut?
20. What is the most important skill to have as an astronaut?
21. What kind of activities do you do in space? Or when you're on earth?