Scouts in Victoria, Australia Making Contact with the ISS at VicJam
I once again had the pleasure to help a group of young people make contact with an Astronaut on the International Space Station this past week. The Scouts were participating in a Jamboree in Victoria, Australia. You can learn more about the event, called VicJam, here.
Astronaut Mark VandeHei, KG5GNP
The Scouts made contact with Astronaut Mark VandeHei, KG5GNP this past Tuesday, January 4th, 2022. You can watch and listen to the contact on YouTube by clicking below. The actual contact begins at about 8:25 into the video.
The Scout’s contact lasted for approximately 10 minutes. The Scouts asked and Mark answered all of their questions and there was time at the end on the contact for “Thank You’s” and “Good Wishes”. Here are the questions that the Scouts asked:
What 3 things do you miss from Earth? My Mum worked on a ship and missed; sleeping with the window open, the smell of cut grass, and the sound of rain on the roof.
What do you have to do to become an astronaut?
What would happen if someone were seriously ill on the ISS, and what would you do?
How do you prepare and eat your meals while up in the space station?
What is it like to float around in no gravity without friction?
How does it feel going from zero gravity in space back to earth’s gravity? Does it hurt??
What is the scariest thing to happen to you whilst you have been in space?
How do you shower and go to the toilet in space?
After being in the space station for so many months, how does it feel to experience planet Earth and nature again with all your senses, especially smell?
How do the seasons affect the veggie production system on the ISS? How often do you get to eat fresh food?
Did you always want to be an astronaut and how did you make it happen?
Why do people go into space and how long is an average mission?
How did you feel when you first learned of your selection to go to space and has this been a life-long ambition for you?
Can you share some of the science that was worked on in space that we can now see on earth?
Is there sound or much noise in space?
Multiple nations have had space stations each bestowed with a specific name – Russia had Mir, NASA had Skylab, and China Tiangong-1. As a truly international effort and the largest man-made object in space, does the ISS have a Nickname, or is there a name that the astronauts use for the individual components?
What energy supply do you use to power the station. If nuclear, what type of reactor do you use? If solar, how many solar panels do you use, and what is their power density?
ARISS Ground Station
This contact was made in a Telebridge format using my Ground Station here in New Hampshire, USA. The linkup with the Scouts in Australia was via a telephone connection using a phone patch in my shack. You can learn more about our ground station here.
AB1OC ARISS Ground Station Operations
Helping young people make contact with astronauts on the ISS using Amateur Radio is great fun. My work with ARISS is near the top of my list in terms of the most rewarding work that I do with Amateur Radio.
Satellite Contact at Sussex County Charter School for Technology
It is vitally important that we make efforts to bring Amateur Radio to young people in schools and other venues. When we spend time bringing Amateur Radio to young people, we accomplish two important things. First, we have the potential to change a young person’s life for the better by involving them in Amateur Radio, a hobby and a service that inspires a lifetime of STEM learning and often leads to lifelong careers in Science or Engineering.
Secondly, our work in schools is one of the very best ways that we can make the general public aware of the positive benefits that Amateur Radio provides to their kids and to the general public…
In my role as an ARISS Program Mentor, I recently had the pleasure of spending a week with Sussex County Charter School for Technology students and teachers to help teachers there to deliver their summer Radio Camp.
The summer Radio Camp was a STEM education program that the school developed in support of their upcoming contact with an astronaut on the International Space Station (ISS). Members of the local Sussex County Amateur Radio Club teamed with the teachers at the school to deliver a 5-day program grounded in STEM learning through Amateur Radio.
You can read more about the activities that we did at the week-long summer Radio Camp via the link above.
I had the pleasure of serving as the ARISS contact moderator for the Youth On The Air (YOTA) 2021 Camp’s contact with the International Space Station (ISS) using Amateur Radio today. Young Hams spent the week at the Voice of America Bethany Relay Station in West Chester, OH engaging in a variety of Amateur Radio Activities…
Field Day provides clubs and groups with a great opportunity to engage and mentor new and less experienced hams. I wanted to share some thoughts and ideas on how we can make mentoring a part of our Field Day activities. You can read more about some successful mentoring activities that have worked well as part of Field Day operations that we’ve been involved in via the link above.
I hope to Work many of our readers during Field Day 2021!
Helping a School Make Contact with an Astronaut on the ISS
As many of you know, I have been dedicating much of my time over the last 6 years to helping folks to get into Amateur Radio, to learn new skills through our hobby, and to experience the joy and sense of accomplishment that Amateur Radio brings. I hope to further this effort in the position of New England Director in the ARRL…
Several friends and supporters have approached me about running for the position of New England Division Director in the ARRL. Directors serve on the Board of Directors of the ARRL for a Term of 3 years and are elected by the members of the ARRL in the Director’s Division. In our case, this encompasses ARRL members in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.
After much consultation with friends, the NARS Executive Committee, my wife Anita, and others who have played major roles in the ARRL, I have decided to take on this challenge by running this fall. I am doing this, in part, to try to help Clubs and Hams here in New England and across the ARRL to grow participation in the Amateur Radio Service and to benefit from the many learning opportunities that it provides.
You can read more about what I am hoping to accomplish as New England Division Director of the ARRL via the link above.
We have successfully tested the Telebridge capabilities here at our station. ARISS has scheduled a Multipoint Telebridge an ISS school contact using our Ground Station for Thursday, April 30th beginning at 13:35 UTC (9:35 am Eastern Time). The Multipoint Telebridge format enables the students to contact the ISS from their homes via telephone connections.
Space Communications Ground Station at AB1OC-AB1QB
Our station will provide the ground to the ISS link for the contact between Chris Cassidy KF5KDR, an astronaut on-board the ISS, and the Northern Virginia Schools Group, Woodbridge VA.
IP Camera View of VHF/UHF Tower at AB1OC
ARISS will Livestream video and audio during the contact including a view of the antennas here as they track the ISS. The Livestream of the pre-contact program will begin at around 30 minutes before the ISS comes up. You can click on the YouTube stream below just before the contact to see the pre-contact program and to listen to our contact with the ISS.
Stations in the Northeastern USA should be able to receive the downlink signal from ISS during the contact on 145.800 MHz FM, Rx only. We hope that you’ll join us for the upcoming contact with the ISS!
Ann Stockbridge, Educator at Kennebunk’s Sea Road School
Regional School Unit 21 has been selected for an out-of-this-world opportunity. An international association of space agencies and Amateur Radio organizations has chosen RSU 21, represented by Sea Road School, to advance in a process climaxing in a conversation between students and astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
RSU 21 was one of 10 schools selected nationally to continue through the multi-month acceptance process. The contact event with the ISS could occur between July and December of this year.
The opportunity is provided by ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station), an association that includes NASA, the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, the American Radio Relay League, the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation, and space agencies in Canada, Japan, Europe, and Russia. They collaborate to enable students to communicate with ISS astronauts and help inspire interest in space, communications and STEM coursework.
As our readers may know, I have joined the ARISS program as a Mentor to help schools prepare for and make successful contacts with Astronauts on the International Space Station. I am working with Regional School Unit 21 Sea Road School teachers and local Ham Radio folks in Maine, USA to help them make contact with the ISS during 2H2020. The link above shares more about the STEM learning program that is being created around this contact.
Students at Council Rock High School South in Southampton, PA will be talking with Astronaut Drew Morgan, KI5AAA aboard the ISS on Thursday. The ISS will be over our area here in the Northeastern Unit States beginning at about 12:55 pm eastern time on Thursday, December 5th. Council Rock’s ARISS Contact is made possible by the ARISS Program…
You should be able to hear Drew on the ISS voice downlink at 145.800 MHz FM. The ISS pass will be a high one over our area. As a result, we should be able to hear the downlink using a good vertical antenna and perhaps even using an HT.
I am serving as the ARRIS Mentor for Council Rock H.S. South’s ISS Contact. I am looking forward to the opportunity to be at their school on Thursday to be part of what I am sure will be a very memorable event.
Anita, AB1QB and I did a segment on HamNation last evening (Wednesday, November 27th, 2019). We spoke about the work that The Nashua Area Radio Society is doing to bring new Hams into the Amateur Radio Service and to provide skills development for all Hams. You can view our interview on HamNation below.
Ham Nation Episode 430 Featuring The Nashua Area Radio Society
The Nashua Area Radio Society (NARS), will be hosting a Ham Bootcamp on Saturday, September 7th from 9 AM until noon at the Northeastern HamXposition at Boxboro. Ham Bootcamp includes a series of hands-on activities designed to help newly licensed Technician and General class license holders get on the air and use their amateur radio license. It is also a great opportunity for prospective hams who are interested in seeing what the hobby has to offer….
Ham Bootcamp activities will be provided in two tracks – one for Technicians and prospective hams and one for General class licenses and higher.
Technician Track Activities
Putting together a Station for Repeaters – how to pick an HT and antenna
HT Programming Tutorials and Help
Getting Started with EchoLink
Making a Contact, joining a Repeater Net
Fox Hunting Demonstrations
Making contacts through Amateur Radio Satellites in Space
General Track Activities
Putting together an HF Station
Putting up a simple HF Antenna including coax and grounding choices
Software for your HF station
Operating on the HF bands using voice, morse code, and digital
Putting together a portable HF Station
How to find and work DX and QSL
… and more!
We will also be providing discount coupons for a kit build and for purchases at HRO to Ham Bootcamp participates.
Ham Bootcamp is free and it is available to all HamXpositon 2019 attendees. Participation in the hands-on training is limited to 100 people maximum and will be on a first-come, first-served basis, so arrive early to get a seat. Registration begins at 8 am.
If you are planning to attend the Northeastern HamXpostion 2019 @ Boxboro on September 7th, don’t miss this once a year opportunity to learn more about Amateur Radio, improve your station, expand your skills, and get on the air. See you at Ham Bootcamp!