ARISS Invites Proposals to Host Ham Radio Contacts with Space Station Crew

The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Program is seeking formal and informal education institutions and organizations — individually or working together — to host an Amateur Radio contact with a member of the International Space Station crew. The deadline to submit a proposal is November 30. Proposal information and documents are on the ARISS website.ARISS anticipates that contacts would take place between July 1 and December 31, 2020. Crew scheduling and ISS orbits will determine specific contact dates. To make the most of these radio contact opportunities, ARISS is looking for organizations that will draw large numbers of participants and integrate the contact into a well-developed education plan.

Crew members aboard the International Space Station routinely conduct scheduled Amateur Radio contacts throughout the year. These contacts are approximately 10 minutes long and allow students to interact with the astronauts through a question-and-answer session.

Amateur Radio organizations around the world — with the support of NASA and space agencies in Russia, Canada, Japan, and Europe — make these contact opportunities available to educational organizations. An ARISS contact is a voice-only communication opportunity via Amateur Radio between astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the space station and classrooms to educate students about what it is like to live and work in space and to learn about space research conducted on the ISS. Students will also have an opportunity to learn about satellite communication, wireless technology, and radio science.

Amateur Radio organization volunteers provide the equipment and operational support to enable communication between crew on the ISS and students around the world using Amateur Radio.

Because of the nature of human spaceflight and the complexity of scheduling activities aboard the ISS, organizations must demonstrate flexibility to accommodate changes in contact dates and times.

Proposal information and more details, including expectations, proposal guidelines, and proposal form, and dates and times of informational webinars, are on the ARISS website.

Nine Schools and Organizations Make the Cut for Ham Contacts with ISS Crew

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) has announced that nine schools and organizations have been selected to host Amateur Radio contacts with International Space Station crew members during the first half of 2020. The selected host organizations must now complete equipment plans that demonstrate their ability to execute the ham radio contact. Once a plan is approved, the final selected schools/organizations will have contacts scheduled as their availability matches up with the opportunities offered by NASA.The schools and host organizations are: Celia Hays Elementary School, Rockwall, Texas; Golden Gate Middle School, Naples, Florida; J.P. McConnell Middle School, Loganville, Georgia; Kittredge Magnet School, Atlanta, Georgia; Maple Dale Elementary School, Cincinnati, Ohio; Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Nashville, Tennessee; Oakwood School, Morgan Hill, California; Ramona Lutheran School, Ramona, California, and River Ridge High School, New Port Richey Florida.

The primary goal of the ARISS program is to engage young people in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) activities and raise their awareness of space communication, radio communication, space exploration, and related areas of study and career possibilities.