ARISS Contact is Scheduled with Students at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School Houston, Houston, Texas USA
September 30, 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 St. Stephen’s Episcopal School located in Houston, TX. 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.
St. Stephen’s Episcopal School in Houston is an urban, private school and home of the da Vinci Lab for Creative Arts and Sciences (da Vinci Lab) that provides a STEAM learning program. The da Vinci Lab serves 75 students from ages 6 through 14 who are involved daily with core STEM lessons that also include topics on electronics and radio concepts. The students get to build circuits learning the difference between series and parallel circuits and the foundations for Ohm’s law. Course topics and activities also include the history of Morse Code (playing Battleship using only Morse Code signals), Slow Scan Television (sending messages with walkie talkies) and radio wave properties (demonstrated during their annual Fox Hunt event). Students are already avid ISS trackers, and travel to local parks or other vantage points to view the ISS as it passes over Houston. In the weeks leading up to the ARISS contact students were involved in more specific lessons, some of these included exploring (virtually) inside the ISS, living on the ISS, NASA’s Mars rover landing, tracking CubeSats, building yagi antennas, and working the ISS APRS digipeater. Members of the local amateur radio club (Brazos Valley Amateur Radio Club) are supporting the school during this contact.
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 Houston, TX, USA. Amateur radio operators using call sign KG5QNO, will operate the ground station to establish and maintain the ISS connection.
The ARISS radio contact is scheduled for October 3, 2022 at 1:09:27 pm CDT (Houston, TX) (18:09:27 UTC, 2:09 pm EDT, 12:09 pm MDT, 11:09 am PDT).
As time allows, students will ask these questions:
1. How do we go to space?
2. How do you drive a rocket?
3. What was your motivation to get to the ISS?
4. How do you feel when you come back to Earth?
5. Do you lose track of which way is up?
6. How do you maintain the water supply on ISS?
7. How do plants grow in space?
8. Can you eat Ramen in space?
9. Do your ears hurt when you fly to Earth?
10. Do you ever get tired?
11. Is your wifi the fastest because you are in a satellite?
12. Is the station cold?
13. Have you ever been in a crisis in the ISS?
14. How did you and your family prepare for your trip to space?
15. Does it feel cool doing a backflip in space?
16. Have you encountered a micrometeorite?
17. Are there germs in space?
18. Do you play any games?
19. What happens if someone dies in the space ship?
20. Do you ever get lonely?