- June 8: Australian ARISS volunteer and telebridge radio station operator James Anthony (Tony) Hutchison has been awarded the prestigious Order of Australia medal. Recipients are named in the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours List. In speaking with Queen Elizabeth II, Australia’s Governor-General said, “This list recognises a group of outstanding Australians who have made a contribution to their community, to Australia globally or domestically.” Tony’s citation called out his dedicated service to amateur radio, particularly in amateur satellites and amateur radio space communication. He got involved with ham radio contacts with Mir, then SAREX (Shuttle Amateur Radio EXperiment) and then ARISS. He’s helped 65 ARISS schools prepare for ARISS contacts and utilized his ham radio telebridge station for 58 ARISS contacts. A number of news outlets have featured Tony’s ham radio volunteering including the Australian Broadcast Corporation. The investiture ceremony will be at Government House in the fall as gatherings are safer to hold.
- June 4: Estes Park Elementary School in Estes Park, CO is tentatively scheduled for an ARISS radio contact in October. Area ham radio operators have been pulling together many of the pieces of ham equipment and hardware needed for the contact. As each component is in hand, they do testing. They track their progress and on a regular basis, summarize it in a graphic that they email to their ARISS mentor.
- June 9: The Kopernik Observatory and Science Center’s summer science camps in Vestal, NY were described in an article posted in the Spectrum News out of Syracuse, NY. The item was picked up by the widely-read Southgate Amateur Radio Club online publication. The article explained Kopernik’s plans to sponsor virtual summer camps and described the big highlight, an upcoming social-distanced ARISS contact. The center will offer live online STEAM undertakings and at-home activities. The center director said, “We are finding a way to make it work this summer at Kopernik and we are looking forward to our ARISS contact scheduled for mid-August.”
- June 5: ARISS educator Kathy Lamont has been inviting youth to be in the school yard, social-distanced, at Antietam Elementary School (VA) to listen to ARISS contacts. She prints the interview questions for her students to read. She uses her handheld antenna and ham radio for students to listen to the astronaut’s answers during the radio contact. A student from an earlier class and her father are now interested in software defined radios. This week Kathy pulled together all materials to have the class be a part of an online Tomatosphere learning project, always a popular activity.
- May 22: ARISS Italian volunteer Micol Ivancic in Milano, Italy helped her Manara School at-home students engage in Mission Zero, a challenge sponsored by ESA and the Raspberry Pi Foundation. The project helped students conduct scientific investigations in space by writing and submitting computer programs that could run on the ISS’s two Raspberry Pi computers. Her students learned to write a Python program that if done correctly, could take a temperature reading of the ISS and display a message on one of the computers for the ISS crew to read. Using Google Meet, Micol and students studied videos on Tim Peake’s and Luca Parmitano’s usage of the Raspberry Pi computers. Her students set up teams to learn to control one of the AstroPi units to make it display colors and measure ISS temperatures. Students were thrilled to receive confirmation that their program worked and would be run in space.
ARISS Upcoming Events
- June 16: Social-distanced students at I.E.S. Pedro de Valdivia in Villanueva de la Serena, Spain will speak with Chris Cassidy during an ARISS radio contact.