|Want A Contact With Your School?|
|Amateur Radio on International Space Station Your school’s opportunity to talk live to astronauts in space! Here’s a question – who can’t you reach from your telephone these days? Maybe this is a tough question – but how about trying to reach an astronaut in space from your phone?ARISS and AMSAT-UK are very interested in helping to arrange contacts between school children and astronauts while they’re in space using amateur radio. Amateur radio is the only way the general public can speak to astronauts live while they’re in space – and ARISS scheduled contacts are only available to school children!ARISS is an international organisation with the primary aim of promoting science, space and amateur radio to young people, and is an integral part of NASA’s Educational Outreach Program. It is supported by the international space agencies and amateur radio organisations worldwide.
The school children taking part do not need to have radio amateur licenses, although the station operator does need to be qualified. AMSAT-UK can help you by providing an experienced station operator if necessary.
How do I apply?
The timeline Generally, accepted applications are done on a first come, first served basis, so the earlier you submit your application, the sooner your school will be talking to the astronauts in space. There are some occasions when the schedule is juggled. This happens, for example, when a school has accepted a contact during a time when many schools are taking holidays. If you don’t think that you will be able to make a contact during certain times, like school holidays, it is important to say so on the application form. If you are offered a contact but cannot make it, you are in risk of ending up back deep in the pile of waiting applications. At the time of writing (August 2003), accepted applications for contacts are taking about two years to come to the top of the pile. During the intervening time, it will give your school the opportunity to introduce space into the curriculum as much as possible. About three or four weeks before the contact itself, you will be offered the opportunity of some dates, which you should make sure you can make! We have had situations where children have come back early from their vacations especially for these contacts. A week or two prior to the contact, the date and time will be confirmed, and you can organise the final logistics.
Links to successful UK contacts
Harrogate Ladies’ College has a long history of astronaut contacts
Children at the National Space Centre in Leicester had a successful ISS contact in April 2003
Pictures, audio, video and press clippings of Soar Valley College, Leicester who had a very successful contact in August 2003.
Links to other sites
International Space Station (ISS) – ARISS school contact – OR4ISS
© 2011 AMSAT-UK