- March 19: The new ARISS radio system that was launched to the ISS in early March has now been moved out of the Dragon capsule by ISS crew members and is stowed on the Harmony module until ARISS receives one final approval. The ARISS team is developing crew procedures for set-up and installation.
- March 25-27: ARISS contacts postponed this week because of host schools’ and education groups’ COVID closings are: SPDW Voortrekker Movement Camp in Oranjeville, South Africa; Ramona Lutheran School in Ramona, CA and Amur State University in Blagoveshchensk, Russia. The next school considering ARISS contact options is tentatively scheduled during the last of May, but is continuing to very closely monitor the area’s health situation.
- March 19: In a collaborative initiative between the ISS National Lab Space Station Explorers, Story Time From Space, and ARISS, the recent book Ada Lace, Take Me to Your Leader by Emily Calandrelli was read by Anne McClain for Story Time From Space. Anne read the book in three segments. The second segment features a tour of the ARISS radio station that includes details about ham radio and ARISS. At the end of the final segment, a video was included of Sunita Williams talking about the impact of ham radio on both the ISS astronauts and students taking part in ARISS activities. Many schools and media outlets—and even the USA’s First Lady—have recommended that parents have housebound youth listen to McClain read the book. The Vermont Community Newspaper Group‘s (Burlington) reporter wrote in part, “A great way to get out of the house—way out of the house—without leaving home…. In this installment Ada is trying to fix a ham radio…. It’s a nice antidote to weighty issues, enjoying readings from weightlessness.” A few posts recommending McClain’s YouTube thus far are: Los Angeles’s ABC TV7; Daily Times (Delaware County, PA); The Mercury (Berks County, PA); The Trentonian (NJ); The Barnstable Patriot (MA); the Orange School District and Hamilton School District (NJ); Palo Alto (CA) schools; and an education blog in Glasgow, Scotland.
- March 26: The online weekly news show, HamTalkLive!, featured an hour-long live interview of Frank Bauer talking about the new ARISS radios launched in early March to the ISS. Several HamTalkLive! tweets were posted prior to the show to promote the ARISS interview and a number of listeners tweeted their questions for Frank to answer.
- March 20: Amateur Radio Newsline, another online weekly news program, presented a short piece about the new radio equipment sent to the ISS. This show highlighted the Kenwood transceiver and how it was set up by Kenwood engineers to improve the ARISS worldwide school and education group contacts, the ARISS Slow Scan Television sessions and APRS packet communications, and the tertiary backup communication system for the ISS.
- March 20: An ARISS Italian team member and teacher, Micol Ivancic, gave a Skype talk with the theme being ham radio in space. She presented a program covering the first days of ham radio communication in space by Owen Garriott to some future possibilities ARISS is considering for Lunar Gateway. The Skype talk, sponsored by the Italian national ham radio society, was for hams and ham clubs and 47 viewers tied in.
- March 12: A 20-minute show about amateur radio was produced and run by the German broadcast radio station, WDR (Westdeutscher Rundfunk). One fourth of the show, titled “Amateur Radio, More than a Hobby,” was devoted to ARISS. A portion of one of Alex Gerst’s ARISS school contacts was included. The show is at: https://www1.wdr.de/radio/wdr5/sendungen/neugier-genuegt/feature-amateurfunk-100.html
ARISS Upcoming Events
- TBD: The ARISS team is studying options that ensure social distancing, with one part of the communications link—the one involving individual youth—being virtual.