December 6, 2022, Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) has received schedule confirmation for an ARISS radio contact between an astronaut aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and students at the British School in the Netherlands located in The Hague, The Netherlands. ARISS conducts 60-80 of these special amateur radio contacts each year between students around the globe and crew members with ham radio licenses aboard the ISS.
The British School in the Netherlands (Junior School, Leidschenveen Campus) is an international primary school composed of a student body with ages 4 to 11 years and who represent 43 nationalities. In preparing for this ARISS contact, the school incorporated space exploration/technology into its STEM curriculum. In addition, students have been working together on space-related projects and age-appropriate activities. Students are learning about radio communications and what it is like to live and work in the ISS and the training required. In their STEM program, first year students have been learning about space related challenges such as building robotic arms like the Canadian-made robotic arm (Canadarm2) installed on the ISS. Students are also being supported by the school´s specialist Science and Technology Lab. Guest expert speakers have also presented different aspects of space-related topics two of which included the space trash (space debris) orbiting Earth to the science-fiction writings of Jules Verne.
This will be a direct contact via Amateur Radio allowing students to ask their questions of Astronaut Josh Cassada, amateur radio call sign KI5CRH. Local Covid-19 protocols are adhered to as applicable for each ARISS contact. The downlink frequency for this contact is 145.800 MHz and may be heard by listeners that are within the ISS-footprint that also encompasses the relay ground station.
The amateur radio ground station for this contact is in The Hague, The Netherlands. Amateur radio operators using call sign PE1RXJ will operate the ground station to establish and maintain the ISS connection. The ARISS radio contact is scheduled for December 8, 2022 at 12:09 pm CET The Hague (11:09 UTC).
As time allows, students will ask these questions:
1. Why do you need a helmet?
2. What is the moon made of?
3. In space, is there a toilet and can you use a telephone?
4. Is there weather in space?
5. Is it relaxing in space?
6. If this planet is destroyed can we set up on other planets?
7. What would you do if one of the astronauts were sick or injured?
8. Are you happy to live in the space station?
9. What inspired you to be an astronaut?
10. What did you feel when you found out that you were going to space?
11. Have you ever seen a volcano explode from space, and how was it?
12. What happens if the oxygen runs out?
13. How well do plants grow in space?
14. How often do you do space walks?
15. What is the strangest thing you have ever said to mission control?
16. Why does the sun shine on earth but not the rest of space?
ARISS Contact is Scheduled with Students at Stella Maris College, Gzira, Malta
December 8, 2022, Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) has received schedule confirmation for an ARISS radio contact between an astronaut aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and students at the Stella Maris College located in Gzira, Malta. ARISS conducts 60-80 of these special amateur radio contacts each year between students around the globe and crew members with ham radio licenses aboard the ISS.
Stella Maris College is part of a network (La Salle Malta) of Lasallian Colleges that include De La Salle College and the Mellieha Retreat Centre. La Salle Malta was founded as a single school in 1903 by the Brothers of the Christian Schools and is now the La Salle Malta´s Lasallian Colleges, run by the Malta Trust of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. Stella Maris College is hosting this ARISS contact for participating students in grades 5 through 10 (ages 9-15 years). Stella Maris College has partnered with members of the Malta Amateur Radio League (MARL) (9H1MRL) who will provide support during the ARISS contact.
Members of MARL have also made presentations to students about amateur radio, and demonstrated satellite tracking and talking to other hams through amateur radio satellites. As a member of MARL, Stella Maris College has previously operated their own amateur radio station. Members of other organizations that are also part of educational activities surrounding this ARISS contact include; the University of Malta, the Malta College for Science and Technology, Malta Council for Science and Technology and Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology.
This will be a direct contact via Amateur Radio allowing students to take turns asking their questions of Astronaut Koichi Wakata, amateur radio call sign KI5TMN. Local Covid-19 protocols are adhered to as applicable for each ARISS contact. The downlink frequency for this contact is 145.800 MHz and may be heard by listeners that are within the ISS-footprint that also encompasses the relay ground station.
The amateur radio ground station for this contact is in Gzira, Malta. Amateur radio operators using call sign 9H1MRL, will operate the ground station to establish and maintain the ISS connection. The ARISS radio contact is scheduled for December 10, 2022 at 8:55 am CET (Gzira, Malta), 7:55 UTC.
Update: contact is delayed until December 31, 23.59h!
The public is invited to watch the live stream at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fk-Onkbr6PY
As time allows, students will ask these questions:
1. What do astronauts normally eat or drink on the space station?
2. How do you sleep in space? Is it comfortable?
3. What do you do in your free time?
4. How long is the training to actually go in space?
5. Why do astronauts wear space suits?
6. Is there a maximum time limit for staying in space?
7. How do you stay healthy (physically and mentally): in space?
8. When you are going up in space, crossing the ozone layer does it hurt?
9. What side effects do you get when returning from space?
10. Can kids go to space?
11. Did you discover something new from another galaxy?
12. What does space food taste like?
13. How does it feel like living in low gravity?
14. What inspired you to work in space and the International Space Station?
15. What are your emotions during lift-off?
16. Why do astronauts need to go to hospital when they return to earth?
17. What do you miss most from Earth when you are in space?
18. How is one chosen to go on the ISS? What inspired you to become an astronaut?
19. What does the training to go to space consist of?
20. Why is there no gravity in space? How does it feel?
21. At what speed does the ISS travel and how many times do you circle the earth in a day
22. How is air generated inside the ISS?
23. What is the best thing to do when you are in a rocket?
24. How would you describe the spacewalk in a few words?
25. What is the hardest part when living in space?
26. What is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen in space?
Dave Jordan, AA4KN