ARISS Contact is Scheduled for Students at Mary Hare School (for the deaf), Newbury, UK
October 8, 2021—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 direct contact via amateur radio between students at the Mary Hare School, Newbury, UK and Astronaut Mark Vande Hei, amateur radio call sign KG5GNP. Students will take turns asking their questions. Appropriate 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 radio relay ground station.
Amateur radio operators in Newbury using the GB4MHN call sign will operate the ham radio ground station for this contact.
The ARISS radio contact is scheduled for October 12, 2021 at 12:12 pm BST (Newbury, UK), (11:12 UTC, 7:12 am EDT, 6:12 am CDT, 5:12 am MDT and 4:12 am PDT).
Mary Hare School is an aural school for the deaf that teaches students to develop lip reading skills and to make use of technology. The school teaches students (Year 1 – 13, ages 5 – 19 years) that are studying towards A levels. About 250 students will be in the auditorium where the contact will take place and about 600 students in other parts of the school will be linked in via a web feed to observe the contact. Topics taught during the school year prior to this ARISS contact that were related to radio and space included studies in the fields of physics, chemistry and biology. Student activities during the week prior to the contact included designing and flying model rockets, making astronomical observations, and observing authentic space suits. After each student asks their question, the astronaut’s reply will then be transcribed into subtitles. The technical side of the contact (radio equipment) is being handled by the ARISS UK team with members of the Newbury and District Amateur Radio Society (NADARS) providing the students with the “amateur radio experience” through events and activities. This is believed to be the first ARISS contact between a school for deaf children and an astronaut on the ISS.
The public is invited to watch the live stream at: https://live.ariss.org
As time allows, students will ask these questions:
1. Do you have to learn a sign language to communicate if something goes wrong with the radios in your suit?
2. How do you tell directions in space?
3. What do the northern lights look like from space?
4. How can you shower in zero gravity?
5. What’s your most favourite space technology?
6. If there was a fire, how would you evacuate?
7. Do mobile devices work in space? For example, a Smart Phone?
8. If you could take one thing from home into space, to make life more fun what would you take and why?
9. What is it like to wake up and see the earth from space?
10. How long have you been in space for?