ARISS contact with summer camp students at Kopernik Observatory and Science Center, Vestal, New York, USA
International Space Station Amateur Radio (ARISS) has received confirmation of the timing of ARISS radio contact between astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and students at the Kopernik Observatory & Science Center located in Vestal, New York.
ARISS conducts 60 to 80 of these special amateur radio contacts each year between students around the world and licensed amateur radio crew members aboard the ISS.
Opened in 1974, the Kopernik Observatory & Science Center is an informal nonprofit educational institution that promotes interdisciplinary education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Through its courses, events, and programs, KOSC has provided hundreds of thousands of students of all ages with the opportunity to actively engage and learn a variety of STEM subjects.
KOSC resources include three permanent telescopes, a heliostat, a weather station, three classrooms, a computer lab, a portable planetarium, and an amateur radio station. KOSC is also home to the Kopernik Astronomical Society, the local astronomy club, and the Binghamton Amateur Radio Association (BARA) (call sign W2OW). KOSC offers an outreach program to local schools and a STEM-based summer camp for students in grades 2-12.
This year is KOSC’s 30th summer STEM camp, and in preparation for the ARISS contact, a camp, titled “Welcome Aboard the ISS”, showed 5th and 6th grade students what it it takes to become an astronaut, how astronauts train for a mission and what research is being done on the ISS. Students also learn about satellite orbits and radio communications. Camp activities include building a 2 meter 3 element tape measure yagi antenna and how to use it on a fox hunt. Students also learned about software-defined receivers (SDRs) by listening to communications accessed through online SDRs. Students also create and decode images using Slow Scan TV (SSTV), including prerecorded SSTV images sent from the ISS. BARA members support Kopernik Observatory staff in setting up and operating the amateur radio station during ARISS contact.
This will be a direct contact via amateur radio allowing students to ask their questions to astronaut Bob Hines, amateur radio call sign KI5RQT. Local Covid-19 protocols are adhered to, where applicable, for each ARISS contact. The downlink frequency for this contact is 145.800 MHz and can be heard by listeners within the ISS footprint which also encompasses the relay ground station.
The ground ham station for this contact is in Vestal, NY, USA. Amateur radio operators using the call sign K2ZROwill operate the ground station to establish and maintain the ISS connection.
ARISS radio contact is scheduled for August 10, 2022 at 12:11 a.m. EDT (New York) (4:11 p.m. UTC, 11:11 a.m. CDT, 10:11 a.m. MDT, 9:11 a.m. PDT).
The public is invited to follow the live broadcast on: https://youtu.be/2Vf_ZnYc 8Cs
If time allows, students will ask these questions:
1. What was going through your mind going from earth to space?
2. How do you keep in touch with your family so they know you’re okay?
3. How does a magnet act in space?
4. What fun activities do you do?
5. After a long journey into space, how long did it take you to learn to walk again?
6. What does Earth look like from the space station?
7. Who is your role model?
8. What was your favorite moment in space?
9. How do you prevent illness in space and if you do get sick, how is it treated?
10. What kind of experiments do you perform on the International Space Station and how would those experiments be different in terms of gravity?
11. How does it feel to be weightless?
12. What’s the coolest/craziest thing you’ve seen from up there?
13. Can you see the auroras from the ISS and take pictures of them?
14. Do astronauts play musical instruments on the space station?
15. What is your favorite thing about the ISS?
16. I read that water and oxygen are recycled on the ISS. What total amount of water and oxygen is needed per astronaut in space?
17. How can I be an astronaut like you?
18. What is the hardest thing about leaving your family for space?
19. What special exercises do they need to do to stay healthy in space?
Amateur radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is a cooperative venture of international amateur radio societies and space agencies that support the International Space Station (ISS). In the United States, the sponsors are the Amateur Radio Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the ISS National Lab-Space Station Explorers, Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC), and the Space communications and NASA navigation.
The main objective of ARISS is to promote the exploration of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. ARISS does this by arranging scheduled contacts via amateur radio between crew members aboard the ISS and students. Before and during these radio contacts, students, educators, parents and communities participate in hands-on learning activities related to space, space technologies and amateur radio. For more information, see www.ariss.org .
Dave Jordan, AA4KN
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