- April 30: The Northern Virginia Students group in Woodbridge, VA of kindergarten through fifth graders took part in an ARISS radio experiment with Chris Cassidy on the ISS. The radio contact was the first ARISS test of a new method allowing the continuation of school contacts in the COVID era. For this Multipoint Telebridge Contact via Amateur Radio, students used computers in their homes to join the radio contact with the ARISS ISS ham station and an ARISS volunteer at his telebridge radio ground station. This test saw initial difficulties but with fast work by Chris and the ARISS team, he answered 5 students’ questions. The morning events were livestreamed for the public—365 views (2,003 more, afterwards) on the new ARISS YouTube Channel set up by the team. The URL is: https://youtu.be/Cu8I9ose4Vo. There wasn’t time for two brothers to ask their questions but during troubleshooting, Chris voiced their questions from his list and replied. Afterward, the boys were asked if they would like to write a letter to NASA about the experiment; they were thrilled, even more so while being videotaped reading their letter aloud. The short but very fun video is at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YdnHN3ROh0&feature=youtu.beA.
- At last count, ARISS news release’s information was carried by over 91 web and Social Media sites worldwide, including ScaN, and also was celebrated during an ISS National Lab webinar. The new ARISS YouTube Channel already has 101 subscribers. Two of many curriculum activities for students leading up to the radio contact included learning an astronaut’s typical duty schedule, using APRS downlinked telemetry to track a balloon launch, and downloading ARISS SSTV images.
- April 26: Upper grade-level students in the KMO Kolska Wyspa schools in Kolo, Poland have a future ARISS contact. The past few weeks they have studied e-lessons oriented to space science. They had a virtual class on orbital velocity of the Moon around the Earth and about the relation to altitude and orbital period. They learned one of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky's long-ago lessons on stages of rockets. For students who wanted more, they investigated rocket acceleration during the start of the first stage. Similar lessons will continue.
- April: Prior to pivoting to e-teaching, ARISS teacher Melissa Pore had engaged her Arlington, VA Bishop O’Connell High School classes in hands-on learning with the AMSAT CubeSat Simulator software defined radio, working with satellite telemetry. This week their Zoom class taught them to use a telemetry decoder software program for future science experiments. These will include calculating orbit needs in respect to a mission, such as a solar panel budget analysis.
ARISS Social Media
Facebook in April 2020
Twitter: At the end of April 2020, ARISS Twitter followers totaled 12,495, a gain of 142 over March.
Instagram: As of April 30, 2020, total Instagram Followers have increased to 142.
ARISS Upcoming Events
- May 15: Youth who have been part of the Airdrie Space Science Club in Airdrie, Alberta, Canada will speak with Chris Cassidy. The contact will be the new style Multipoint Telebridge via Amateur Radio with students at home.