ARISS Contact is Scheduled with Students at Harris Middle School, Spruce Pine, North Carolina, USA
October 8, 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 Harris Middle School located in Spruce Pine, NC, USA. 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.
Harris Middle School, a rural public school in Spruce Pine, NC, was founded in 1916 and is one of only two middle schools in Mitchell County serving, 237 students in grades six, seven, and eight. The school incorporated amateur radio related studies and activities into their existing STEM curriculum prior to this ARISS contact. This included satellite communications (frequency Doppler affects), building UHF/VHF yagi antennas, and building an amateur satellite communication station. Students studied mathematical relationships of radio wave properties, and gravity of orbiting bodies. Courses incorporated topics that included space exploration, the solar system, and Earth’s weather system. Students also learned more about the history of the ISS, and the affects of living in space. For this ARISS contact, the school partnered with the College Foundation of Western North Carolina for the establishment of the school’s amateur radio satellite station.
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 Spruce Pine, NC. Amateur radio operators using call sign K4CF, will operate the ground station to establish and maintain the ISS connection.
The ARISS radio contact is scheduled for October 11, 2022 at 11:00:45 am EDT (Spruce Pine, NC) (15:00:45UTC, 10:00 am CDT, 9:00 am MDT, 8:00 am PDT).
The public is invited to watch the live stream at: https://www.facebook.com/mitchellcountyschools
As time allows, students will ask these questions:
1) What inspired you to become an astronaut and what has been your most challenging part of your journey?
2) If an astronaut is sick or injured, how are they treated? How would he or she get back to Earth in an emergency?
3) Are all the astronauts on the ISS on the same sleep and work schedule or are there different shifts?
4) How many crew members do you have on board?
5) When you finish your mission on the ISS, would you like to be a part of the Artemis program or even go to Mars?
6) Does the ISS have an escape vehicle and have you ever had to use it?
7) If you had to give advice to a future astronaut about something they should know that training did not prepare them for, what would you tell them?
8) What is your educational background or field of study?
9) How do you maintain adequate nutrition and fitness while being on board the ISS?
10) What will you miss the most while being in Space? What food item not available on the ISS will you miss the most?
11) How do you celebrate birthdays and holidays on the ISS?
12) How do you stay in touch with your family?
13) How do the astronauts wash their hair without getting water everywhere?
14) Are you or anyone else up there doing research on any diseases that affect humans? Are you aware of any research in space that has helped to understand, treat, or cure a disease?
15) What is your favorite space-themed movie?
16) How long have you been involved in the space program and how long have you been on the ISS?
17) How long have you been a ham and what do you enjoy about it?