Dave Jordan, AA4KN
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ARISS Contact is Scheduled with McConnell Middle School, Loganville, GA
October 06, 2020—Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) has received schedule confirmation for an ARISS radio contact with astronauts. ARISS is the group that puts together special amateur radio contacts between students around the globe and crew members with ham radio licenses on the International Space Station (ISS).
This will be a Multipoint Telebridge Contact via Amateur Radio between the ISS and students from McConnell Middle School in Loganville, Georgia. Students will take turns asking their questions of ISS Commander Chris Cassidy, amateur radio call sign KF5KDR, during the ARISS radio contact. The downlink frequency for this contact is 437.525 MHz.
ARISS team member Jan Poppeliers, using call sign ON4ISS (from an AMSAT amateur radio club station in Aartselaar, Belgium), will serve as the relay amateur radio station. Each student asking a question of Cassidy on the ARISS radio will be teleconferenced in from home or social-distanced at school. Youth and faculty and the public can watch the livestreamed action from home.
The ARISS radio contact is scheduled for October 7, 2020 at 10:18 am EDT (Georgia) (14:18 UTC, 9:18 am CDT, 8:18 am MDT, 07:18 am PDT).
McConnell Middle School (about 2,300 students ages 11 to 15) is a Gwinnett County public school near Atlanta. The district’s career-planning curriculum group integrated lessons into established science, math and language arts classes before the contact in order to increase student interest and awareness related to space science, expand student experience with research methodologies, and inspire them to pursue studies and careers in science-related fields. The school’s McConnell Radio Club, in its 6th year, is mentored by members of the Gwinnett Amateur Radio Society who provide radio classes and equipment for student use, and guided the ARISS project, a part of the faculty’s efforts toward becoming a STEM-certified school.
ARISS invites the public to view the livestream of the upcoming ARISS radio contact at:
As time allows, students will ask these questions:
1. Are there special activities designed for you to help relieve the stress of living and working in space?
2. Describe what surprised you about earth when you got to the ISS.
3. Do you see evidence of the recent West Coast wildfires or other environmental situations?
4. As a middle school student what can we do to prepare ourselves for the job you do today as an astronaut?
5. In the movie The Martian, Mark was trained as a botanist. What is your area of interest and what experiments are you doing in your field?
6. How long is your mission and how do you expect it might impact your body?
7. What was the hardest part of training prior to going to space?
8. How often do you need to do repairs on the outside of the ISS?
9. Describe your medical training that would help if an astronaut becomes ill or seriously injured while on the space station.
10. Standard air pressure on earth is 1 atmosphere. What air pressure do they try to maintain on the ISS?
11. What qualifications do you have that enable you to be assigned to more than one mission or similar?
12. Have you ever tried growing carrots or root vegetables in space?
13. Are there any times where any shipments of food or drinks are running late, or have space flight troubles, and you run out of food or water for the time?
14. How does food taste when you don't get to smell it?
15. How is the ISS designed in case of a collision with space junk or a meteoroid?
16. What is the procedure if spills, liquid or solid, occur during experiments?
17. How do you maintain clean hygiene while in space?
18. What is your normal schedule on the ISS?
ARISS – Celebrating 20 Years of Amateur Radio Continuous Operations on the ISS
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-Space Station Explorers, and NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation program. 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.
Dave Jordan, AA4KN
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