Unforgettable day schoolchildren spoke to an astronaut in space

Reid Wiseman KF5LKT - Image credit NASA

Reid Wiseman KF5LKT – Image credit NASA

The Southend Echo reports on the contact between pupils at Winter Gardens Primary School in Canvey, Essex and the International Space Station.

The contact took place on October 8 having taken two years of preparation. It was organised by the South Essex Amateur Radio Society and involved a link-up with an amateur radio station in California, W6SRJ, who relayed the signal to and from the ISS while it was traveling over the USA at 27,600 km/h. The children were able to speak to astronaut Reid Wiseman KF5LKT who was using the ISS callsign NA1SS.

The newspaper article includes a picture of the school pupils with Pete sipple M0PSX, read it at
http://www.echo-news.co.uk/news/11526478.The_unforgettable_day_schoolchildren_spoke_to_an_astronaut_in_space/

Read a report on the contact at
http://www.essexham.co.uk/news/iss-winter-gardens-2014.html

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS)
http://www.ariss.org/contact-the-iss.html

South Essex Amateur Radio Society
http://www.southessex-ars.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/South-Essex-Amateur-Radio-Society/348979385223793

The Roy Stevens, G2BVN, Trophy awarded to Gaston, ON4WF

Gaston Bertels ON4WF - ARISS Contact

Gaston Bertels ON4WF conducting an ARISS contact

The IARU Region 1 Roy Stevens, G2BVN, Memorial Trophy was awarded to Gaston Bertels, ON4WF, for his meritorious service to amateur radio over many years. Gaston was the chairman of the Eurocom Working Group and then the chairman of the ARSPEX Working Group. Gaston, aged 87, has decided to step down as ARSPEX WG chairman.

Gaston received a standing ovation when the award was announced.

AMSAT-UK add their congratulations and respect for all his hard work in IARU Region 1 and with the organisation of the ARISS School contacts, as well as his Chairmanship of ARISS-EU and, for a time, of ARISS-International.

Gaston was instrumental in getting DATV antennas for 1260 and 2400 MHz installed on the International Space Station (ISS), see http://www.southgatearc.org/news/march2007/ariss_antenna_donations.htm

Gaston Bertels ON4WF Graham Shirville G3VZV and astronaut Frank De Winne ON1DWN at the European Parliament

Gaston Bertels ON4WF, Graham Shirville G3VZV and astronaut Frank De Winne ON1DWN at the European Parliament

UK schools contact with International Space Station

Astronaut Alexander Gerst KF5ONO

Astronaut Alexander Gerst KF5ONO

On Wednesday, October 8 at 10:08:49 UT there will be an ARISS contact between astronaut Alexander Gerst KF5ONO on the International Space Station (ISS) and students at the Winter Gardens Primary School, Canvey, Essex and Pilton Bluecoat School, Barnstaple, Devon.

The ISS will be over the USA at the time and they will be making use of an amateur radio Telebridge Ground Station in California, W6SRJ, to actually make the link to the Space Station.

South Essex Amateur Radio Club (SEARS) http://www.southessex-ars.co.uk/

Essex ISS contact on Echolink and IRLP

Astronaut Alexander Gerst KF5ONO

Astronaut Alexander Gerst KF5ONO

The POSTPONEMENT of this contact was announced on September 21 at 19:55

ARISS Contact Tuesday POSTPONED

Due to the one day delay of the Space X launch, berthing day now falls on Tuesday and has resulted in the cancellation of the Winter Gardens Primary School, Canvey Island and Pilton Bluecoat School, Barnstaple, United Kingdom

73, John – AG9D
ARISS Audio

Please join us in listening to the International Space Station (ISS) contact with participants at the Winter Gardens Primary School, Canvey Island, Essex, United Kingdom and Pilton Bluecoat School, Barnstaple, Devon, United Kingdom, on Tuesday, September 23. The students will be talking to astronaut Alexander Gerst KF5ONO on the ISS who will be using the callsign NA1SS. Acquisition Of Signal (AOS) is anticipated at 1137 BST (1037 UT).

The duration of the contact is approximately 9 minutes and 30 seconds. The contact will be a telebridge between NA1SS and VK7KHZ in Australia. The contact is expected to be conducted in English.

Audio from this contact will be fed into the:

EchoLink *AMSAT*  Node 101377 and IRLP Node 9010 Discovery Reflector

Streaming Audio on the web at https://sites.google.com/site/arissaudio/

Audio on Echolink and web stream is generally transmitted around 20 minutes prior to the contact taking place so that you can hear some of the preparation that occurs. IRLP will begin just prior to the ground station call to the ISS.

Please note that on Echolink due to server issues the usual automatic breaks will be done manually. Computer based listeners should after opening Echolink click on tools – setup – timing set receive time limit and inactivity timeout to 0, this should keep you from disconnecting. Echolink introduction guide

* Contact times are approximate. If the ISS executes a reboost or other manoeuvre, the AOS (Acquisition Of Signal) time may alter by a few minutes

73, John – AG9D
ARISS Audio Distribution

Echolink Introduction available on the web
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/april2007/echolink_intro.htm

Echolink Status http://www.echolink.org/

MB7IDA Chelmsford, Essex, Echolink Node 265297
Frequency 145.3375 MHz, Channel V27
Access CTCSS Tone-H 110.9Hz
http://www.essexrepeatergroup.org.uk/mb7ida.htm

South Essex Amateur Radio Club (SEARS) http://www.southessex-ars.co.uk/

ARISS contact planned with ESA Space Camp, Fleetwood, UK

International Space Station - Image Credit NASA

International Space Station – Image Credit NASA

ARISS educational radio contact is planned with ESA Space Camp, Rossall School, Fleetwood, UK. The event is scheduled for Tuesday, July 29 at 14:01:13 UT . It will be a telebridge contact operated by W6SRJ in California.

A video from the event will be webcast at http://www.batc.tv/streams/arissuk/

International_Space_StationThe contact will be broadcast on EchoLink AMSAT (node 101 377) and JK1ZRW (node 277 208) Conference servers, as well as on IRLP Discovery Reflector 9010.

This annual camp is organized by the ESA Space Camp Committee takes place in a different European country each summer for 2 weeks. This year the camp takes place between 27 July and 10 August where 185 young space explorers aged 8 to 17 will meet each other in the UK at Rossall School. The children come from the following ESA establishments (UK, France, Spain, Italy, The Netherlands and Germany).

This will be the 20th Space Camp organised by ESA. This year the children will also be involved in celebrating this milestone with marking 50 years of ESA. Children, their parents and educators from the area will join the ESA campers on this special celebration day.
Rossall is a boarding school situated on a beautiful 160-acre site, there is plenty of room for extensive sports and cultural facilities, including a swimming pool, squash and tennis courts, as well as a fitness room and a climbing wall.

International Space Station ISS with shuttle Endeavour 2011-05-23The ESC 2014 programme will feature a balanced mix of sports such as flag rugby, lifeguarding, kayaking and martial arts. The theme for camp will be ‘Reach for the Stars!’ Well-equipped IT labs, classrooms and an on-site planetarium will be instrumental in setting up a space education programme that will keep the children motivated with new and exciting hands-on activities and educational tasks involving space-related themes, as well as learning about the culture of the host country.

As with all ESA Space Camps, there will be specific emphasis placed on socialisation and respect among the participants. We hope to make the camp a really unique experience for juniors and teenagers who are in the process of becoming citizens of a multicultural society.
This ARISS contact will mark a highlight in the space education programme as children will be learning about many aspects related to man’s endeavours to reach for the stars!

Students will ask as many of following questions as time allows:
1. Zachary (12): What has been your biggest challenge since being in space?
2. Noemi (11): On Earth bubbles in sparkling water (or cola) float upwards, but in the ISS, there is no up and down. Which direction do the bubbles go in sparkling water (or cola) on the ISS?
3. Kai (9): If you could change one thing on the ISS, what would it be?
4. Caroline (8): How do you sleep and for how long?
5. Lisann (10): Do you need sunscreen in space?
6. Nassim (8): Why do we have plenty of oxygen on earth, but not enough in space?
7. Auriane (10): Do you see time passing by in space? Do you have the same feeling of time duration (days & nights)?
8. William Baker (12): Can you give us an example of some added safety procedures or precautions you must take in doing everyday tasks while on the ISS?
9. Eduardo García (8): Why is there no oxygen outside the ISS?
10. Sonia ERNST: How long does it take to go around our planet?
11. Damien (9): What were your last thoughts when leaving earth?
12. Tristan (8): How do you keep your clothes clean on the Space Station with so little water?
13. Marie (8): Are there any seasons on the ISS?
14. Emil (8): What do you do for fun on the ISS?
15. Charles (13): I have been fascinated by the film “Gravity”. How realistic is the film? Is space crowded by debris and therefore so dangerous?
16. Roxane (10): How many switches are there inside the spacecraft, and do you know what all of them do?
17. Andrew (13): Is it highly stressful to be in space?
18. Ella (9): How do you have a bath when the water goes everywhere?
19. Benjamin (11): How do you dispose of the waste?
20. Luca (13): How are medical surgeries done in space if a specialized doctor is not available?
21. Lena (11): How is it in the ISS, when you arrive the first time? Was the journey comfortable?
22. Giulio (10): What would you like to achieve that you haven’t yet?
23. Eveline (9): I’ve been practicing various types of sports the last years, and now I still do judo. What sports can you practice in the International Space Station, a weightless environment?

ARISS is an international educational outreach program partnering the participating space agencies, NASA, Russian Space Agency, ESA, CNES, JAXA, and CSA, with the AMSAT and IARU organizations from participating countries.

ARISS offers an opportunity for students to experience the excitement of Amateur Radio by talking directly with crewmembers onboard the International Space Station. Teachers, parents and communities see, first hand, how Amateur Radio and crewmembers on ISS can energize youngsters’ interest in science, technology and learning.

73,

Gaston Bertels, ON4WF
Chair ARISS Europe
http://www.ariss-eu.org/

ARISS http://www.ariss.org/

In-Person Meeting for ARISS International

International Space Station - Image Credit NASA

International Space Station – Image Credit NASA

The ARRL report representatives of the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) International partners met in person last month for the first time in 2-1/2 years to reassess the program’s direction and to consider new objectives.

The European Space Agency (ESA) hosted the April 3-5 gathering at its European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in The Netherlands. ARISS International Secretary-Treasurer Rosalie White, K1STO, represented the ARRL at the sessions. ARISS International Chair and AMSAT-NA Vice President for Human Spaceflight Programs Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, presided.

Former ESA astronaut Gerhard Thiele, DG1KIL, welcomed the representatives. Thiele, who heads ESA’s Human Spaceflight and Operations Strategic Planning and Outreach office, told the gathering that ESA recognizes the benefit to students of being able to communicate with the ISS crew directly via Amateur Radio, and that students learn a lot as a result of these ARISS contacts.

ARISS Amateur Radio on the International Space Station

ARISS Amateur Radio on the International Space Station

In a wide-ranging presentation, ARISS International Project Selection & Use Committee representative Lou McFadin, W5DID, addressed long-term equipment possibilities. Among other requirements, McFadin said, ARISS should have the ability to control its equipment from Earth, and he said that developing software-defined equipment would permit this. He also spoke of the need for an “override power switch,” as the astronauts need to shut down ARISS equipment during safety-critical events such as spacecraft dockings or spacewalks. Given the paucity of space aboard the ISS, ARISS also must minimize the amount of real estate its equipment occupies, McFadin said. He also noted that there is “little or no” ISS crew time to address ISS ham gear issues.

McFadin further discussed the advantages of installing a mobile VHF/UHF transceiver in the Columbus module that has higher power capabilities, similar to the Kenwood D-700 located in the Service Module. In recent months crew members have been using a 5 W Ericsson hand-held transceiver for school contacts, and signal levels have been lower than the team would prefer. McFadin suggested that a portable mobile system with a power output of 15 W or greater might improve this situation.

Read the full ARRL story at
http://www.arrl.org/news/ariss-international-partners-regroup-at-first-in-person-meeting-since-2011

ARISS ESTEC meeting minutes and committee reports http://www.ariss.org/meeting-minutes.html

Brazilian students talk to Space Station using Amateur Radio

ARISS PV8DX students at Escola Estadual 'Gonçalves Dias'

ARISS PV8DX students at Escola Estadual ‘Gonçalves Dias’

An Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) school contact took place at 17:24 UT on Thursday, February 13, 2014.

International_Space_StationStudents at Escola Estadual ‘Gonçalves Dias’, Boa Vista, Brazil, using the station of Paulo PV8DX, were able to talk to astronaut Michael Hopkins KF5LJG who was using the callsign OR4ISS. The contact lasted about 9 minutes and took place in English on 145.800 MHz FM.

The school, founded in 1977, works in two shifts, morning and afternoon with a total of 800 students. The school has a specialty program dedicated to Computer Science and related areas – students in this area were directly involved in the ARISS event. These same students were involved in the development of questions and related studies. The school has 70 teachers and 30 administrative support staff.

International Space Station ISS 2011The students asked these questions:

1. Why did you decide to be an astronaut?
2. How long can a person live in space?
3. How do you communicate with your family?
4. After the mission, what are the most critical physical and psychological effects on your body and mind?
5. If someone is critically injured on the ISS, what would you do with  them?
6. In case of illness, how is aid provided?
7. What kind of research are you doing on the ISS?
8. Do you feel disoriented when you return home?
9. Given the incredible committment to become an astronaut, do you ever doubt your choice?
10. How do you bathe on the ISS?
International Space Station ISS with shuttle Endeavour 2011-05-2311. What is the most interesting thing you have seen in Space?
12. Is oxygen recycled continually on the ISS or do supply vehicles bring up new oxygen?
13. What is a typical day like on the ISS?
14. Since there are people from different countries on the ISS, what is the language spoken on the Station and what kind of food do you eat?

A recording of part of the contact made by PY2TNA can be heard here .

Michael Hopkins KF5LJG / OR4ISS

Michael Hopkins KF5LJG / OR4ISS

Media coverage can be seen at

http://g1.globo.com/rr/roraima/noticia/2014/02/estudantes-de-rr-fazem-contato-com-astronauta-em-estacao-espacial.html

http://g1.globo.com/rr/roraima/jornal-de-roraima/videos/t/edicoes/v/estudantes-roraimenses-tem-contato-com-astronauta-por-meio-de-projeto-da-nasa/3147827/

http://www.rr.gov.br/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=12994:no-espaco-comunicacao-entre-estudantes-de-roraima-e-astronauta-americano-foi-um-sucesso&catid=198:2014fevereiro&Itemid=210

Sign up for the SAREX maillist at http://www.amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/sarex

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station http://www.ariss.org/

Teenage radio ham takes lead on ISS school contact

International Space Station ISS with shuttle Endeavour 2011-05-2316 year-old Rebecca Rubsamen KJ6TWM led the amateur radio contact between students at Rancho Romero Elementary School and astronaut Mike Hopkins KF5LJG on the International Space Station.

The Contra Costa Times newspaper reports:

“This is going to be the biggest science experiment we’ve done with the school — and my career as principal,” proclaimed Skye Larsh, principal of Rancho Romero Elementary School.

The lead engineer in the whole grand experiment: 16 year-old Rebecca Rubsamen of Alamo, a sophomore at Bentley School in Lafayette who built her own VHF radio and crafted two large antennas in her backyard.

A licensed amateur radio operator, Rebecca wanted to return to her elementary alma mater to let students talk to astronauts in space. She applied for permission to do the direct contact through NASA’s Amateur Radio on the International Space Station program. Since 1983, the program has connected schools and universities with astronauts in space to encourage interest in math and science — and youth to become future astronauts.

NASA grants about 50 such permissions a year for amateur radio enthusiasts to make contact with the International Space Station. This year, there have been about 68 granted internationally. Rancho Romero’s is one of 20 in the United States this year and just the third in California, said Ashle Harris, a NASA spokeswoman.

Tim Bosma W6MU, a NASA volunteer who helps to mentor amateur radio buffs through the program, said Rebecca was among the youngest people to act as a lead operator for such a radio communication for a school.

Read the full story at http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_24517766/headline

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) http://www.ariss-eu.org/

Ham Video transmitter onboard ISS Columbus module

International Space Station ISS with shuttle Endeavour 2011-05-23

How a DATV transmitter on S-band is being added to the ARISS equipment onboard the International Space Station has been related in an announcement recently circulated and available at

http://www.ariss-eu.org/HamVideo.pdf

Front panel of the HamTV transmitter

Front panel of the HamTV transmitter

The ARISS Ham Video transmitter is presently onboard Columbus. The transmitter was delivered by Japanese cargo spacecraft HTV-4, which launched August 4 and docked 5 days later.

ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano KF5KDP / IR0ISS reported that the bags are stored in Columbus. There are two bags: one for the transmitter, the other for the power, camera and antenna cables.

Installation will be done by US astronaut Michael Hopkins KF5LJG who has been trained for the commissioning of the Ham Video equipment.The commissioning is planned later in the year, possibly end October when there are favourable passes over Italy. Indeed, the tests transmissions for the commissioning of the onboard equipment will be received by the ground station of the “Centro di Geodesia Spaziale” of the Italian Space Agency, located in Matera, Southern Italy.

A basic amateur radio station that should be able to receive HamTV from ISS - Image AMSAT-Italia

A basic amateur radio station that should be able to receive HamTV from ISS – Image AMSAT-Italia

We will report in due time on the commissioning procedure which will involve a series of tests to be performed during 3 or 4 ISS passes.

Possibly, the Ham Video transmitter will transmit continuously between the commissioning steps offering amateur ground stations the opportunity to test and tune their receiving equipment. The transmissions will be performed in automatic mode, without requiring crew time. The camera, which runs on a battery, will not be used and the ground stations will receive a black image.

Meanwhile, commissioning is being prepared steadily. The kick-off meeting took place November 2012 at ESTEC, the European Space Research and Technology Centre, located in Noordwijk the Netherlands.  Detailed procedures are examined and finalized during weekly ESA/ARISS teleconferences. A preliminary EST (Experiment Sequence Test) is planned August 28-29. The test will involve the ARISS ground station IK1SLD, located in Casale Monferrato in Northern Italy.

One of the Columbus Module  2.4 / 1.2 GHz Antennas

One of the Columbus Module 2.4 / 1.2 GHz Antennas

IK1SLD, which is an ARISS telebridge station often used for educational ARISS school contacts on VHF, has been upgraded for S-band reception. Ham Video manufacturer Kayser Italia has delivered a 1.2 meter dish, a down converter and precision tracking motors, which are part of the ESA funded equipment. For the EST, the station will receive a DATV signal from a local low power S-band test transmitter. The decoded signal will be webstreamed to the BATC server. The British Amateur Television Club offers ARISS free access to their server. ESA examiners will connect to the BATC server and evaluate the reception. Test transmissions at IK1SLD will cover the different frequencies and symbol rates available on the Ham Video transmitter.

Web streaming will take advantage of the special software developed by Jean Pierre Courjaud, F6DZP. References are available in the HamVideo.pdf.

When the Ham Video transmitter will become operational, it will be used for ARISS educational school contacts. Video will be for downlink only. Uplink will be VHF FM audio. The Ericsson transceiver onboard Columbus will be used for reception onboard. This cross band and double mode operation is called Ham TV. Ham Video is the name of the DATV transmitter.

73,

Gaston Bertels – ON4WF
ARISS-Europe chairman
This Bulletin is available from the frontpage of http://www.ariss-eu.org/

Thornton Middle School students contact the International Space Station

Thornton Middle School ISS Contact

One of the Thornton Middle School students

On March 25, using the Thornton Middle School Wireless Technology Club callsign KF5NZD, students from Thornton Middle School in Katy, Texas contacted the International Space Station (ISS). They used ham radio to speak to ISS Commander Chris Hadfield VA3OOG who was operating one of the amateur radio stations onboard the ISS, callsign NA1SS.

“NA1SS..NA1SS this is KF5NZD, KF5NZD, How do you copy, over?” called 13-year-old Chris Bobicchio.

The Cypress Creek Mirror reports a long sticky pause filled the room followed by a clear “This is NA1SS to KF5NZD, you are loud and clear, how do you copy me, over?”

Thornton math teacher and ham radio enthusiast Tom Maxwell AE5QB had been trying to get his school involved in the ARISS program for the past three years and was finally accepted last summer.

AMSAT News Service reports Thornton Middle School students, due to their economic backgrounds, have limited opportunities for enrichment activities beyond those that can be implemented in the classroom. Many of its students and families believe that opportunities in high paying STEM careers are beyond the reach of Thornton students, and that, “other kids have all the luck.” This ARISS contact helped dispel these perceptions and will demonstrate to the students and families that Thornton students are capable of complex problem solving, and that they are capable of learning “Rocket Science” material.

Read the Cypress Creek Mirror story by Crystal Simmons at
http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/cypresscreek/news/thornton-middle-school-students-make-contact/article_508321f1-dbe6-5994-b04d-edb8ae4dab69.html

To see a video of the complete question and answer session, visit
http://www.cfisd.net/movies/zmovies/ariss.htm

A list of the questions asked is at
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/march2013/ariss_event_2503.htm

Thornton Middle School Wireless Technology Club on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/PatriotsInSpace/

Thornton Middle School
http://www.greatschools.org/texas/katy/1727-Thornton-Middle-School/?tab=demographics

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) http://www.ariss.org/