- September 10: Students at the Collège Raymond Sirot and the Raymond Sirot Middle School in Gueux, France were involved in an ARISS radio contact, interviewing Chris Cassidy about his experiences on board the ISS. He answered 12 questions as the radio communications were relayed, due to the Covid crisis, through one of ARISS’s Australian amateur radio ground stations. The audience consisted of 110 students. The Departement de la Marne (government education agency) livestreamed the contact to 600 students in all schools in the Marne region, and 2,300 others viewed the stream afterwards. A live YouTube garnered 192 views. An outstanding showing of news media covered the event: regional TV FR3 Champagne Ardenne, regional radio France bleu Champagne-Ardenne, national radio NRJ and RCF, regional newspaper L’Union, and several private video channels. The school staff put a large emphasis on explaining to the audience the role that ham radio played in the event. Both schools’ students learn about space, gravity, matter and energy and do project-based STEM learning. The Collège partners with a planetarium (who also streamed the ARISS contact for 48 viewers) and an area ham radio group so students can learn about the universe and amateur radio.
- September 9: The ham news podcast, Ham Nation, ran a 20-minute segment covering the recent activation of the ARISS InterOperable Radio System (IORS) on the ISS. The host for this portion of the evening’s program was well-known amateur radio personality, mentor and ARISS donor, Gordon West. Rosalie White had been corresponding with him about ARISS’s successes and he decided to tell his audience about ARISS this week and again next week. During his talk, he explained the IORS’s capabilities, the cross-band repeater mode it is currently in, and how to interact with this ISS communication option. His slides illustrated good techniques for making an ARISS repeater contact. The YouTube attracted 324 live viewers and thus far, another 850 afterwards. The link is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krsha5dSoi4&t=3066s.
- September 2: A San Diego, CA, CBS News reporter asked ARISS team member Kerry Banke for an interview at his house. The result was a feature story about how ARISS facilitates students to talk to astronauts, the positive ways students are affected by this, and Banke’s volunteer work on the new ARISS radio system. The article included an older video clip of Doug Wheelock demonstrating how he used ARISS equipment in the Russian Service Module to talk to ham radio operators and featured Wheelock giving a mini tour of the ISS. The URL is: https://www.cbs8.com/article/news/local/zevely-zone/la-mesa-man-building-space-radios-from-his-garage/509-445801a4-aaf2-419b-8758-f423d8333a04
- August 25: The ISS Ham media team at Johnson Space Center created and posted a great nine-minute video on ARISS and amateur radio. It highlighted Chris Cassidy supporting the May 15th ARISS contact for young members of the Airdrie Space Science Club and other area students in Airdrie, Alberta. Within 2 days, views of the post totaled 36,700 with 214 Re-tweets and 1,100 likes. The link is: https://twitter.com/Space_Station/status/1298273936124153860.
- Also, the ISS Ham team posted the video on YouTube. In 2 weeks, views totaled 11,567. The link is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=1clACXLdDhs&feature=emb_logo.
- A few hours later, Cassidy posted comments about the video on his own Twitter account so more people could see the video. It quickly got 22,400 views, 96 Re-tweets and 648 likes. His link is: https://twitter.com/Astro_SEAL/status/1299104348811612160.
- ARISS sponsor ARRL (American Radio Relay League) posted Cassidy’s video on its Facebook page and quickly saw: 8,177 people reached, 383 engagements, 194 reactions, and 52 shares. Many other ham radio and non-ham radio news outlets picked up the story. ARRL’s Facebook link is: https://www.facebook.com/ARRL.org/posts/10157912097177408.
- The video went global! Hours after the first posting, the UK’s DailyMail posted the story; link is: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-8666705/NASA-astronaut-Chris-Cassidy-ISS-receives-call-Canadian-students-using-ham-radio.html
ARISS Social Media
Facebook in August 2020
Instagram: As of August 31, 2020, Instagram followers increased to 164.
ARISS Upcoming Events
- September 18: The school, Avellaneda Ikastetxea, in Sodupe, Spain will host an ARISS contact utilizing the ARISS telebridge ground station in South Africa to relay communications between the school and ARISS ham radio station on the ISS. Chris Cassidy will support the contact.