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

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Amateur Radio on the International Space Station

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

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS)

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

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.


Gaston Bertels – ON4WF
ARISS-Europe chairman
This Bulletin is available from the frontpage of

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

To see a video of the complete question and answer session, visit

A list of the questions asked is at

Thornton Middle School Wireless Technology Club on Facebook

Thornton Middle School

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS)

Video of ISS amateur radio contact with students at Lycee Polyvalent Anatole France

International Space Station ISS with shuttle Endeavour 2011-05-23A video has been released of the International Space Station (ISS) school contact with participants at the Lycee Polyvalent Anatole France.

The contact took place  at 1142 UT on Saturday, March 9, 2013. ISS Commander Chris Hadfield VA3OOG, used the call sign OR4ISS, and the high school used F4KIS.

Anatole France is a French high school located in Lillers, a small town in the center of the Pas-de-Calais department. There are about 850 students 15 to 20 years old. The science teachers and the local amateur radio club F4KIS, which became in 2010 the ‘Artois Lys Radio Club’, have developed a partnership since 2007 collaborating on projects to send sounding balloons into the stratosphere.

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ARISS contact planned February 19, 2013 with school in Greece

The International Space Station

ARISS contact planned February 19, 2013 with school in Greece

An International Space Station school contact has been planned February 19 2013 with participants at 4th Dimotiko Scholeio Chaidariou, Chaidari (near Athens), Greece.             The event is scheduled to begin at approximately 14:06 UTC, which is 16:07 CEWT.

The contact will be a direct operated by J41ISS. Interested parties in Europe are invited to listen to dowlink signals on 145.800 MHz FM. The contact will be conducted in English.

The event will be webcast on several webstreaming servers:

School presentation:

Our school is located in Chaidari, a suburb in the north-west of Athens.             It was constructed in 1978, but it is now being renovated so as to be more energy efficient. It is a two-storey building with 16 classrooms, a Head office and a staff room. Continue reading

Amateur Radio on ISS switches to Ericsson after Kenwood problems

ARISS Amateur Radio on the International Space StationAfter experiencing issues with the Kenwood D700 on two consecutive school contacts, ARISS will use the Ericsson radio on the Columbus module for ARISS contacts until problems with D700 are resolved.

According to Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, AMSAT’s Vice President for Human Spaceflight Programs, “…for some reason, our signals from the Service Module Kenwood D700 radio are much diminished.  Our contact with Israel last Sunday [February 3]  had low audio levels, with good signals only near TCA.  Our contact [February 8] with the Hospital for Sick Children was even worse.  Only one student was able to talk to Chris Hadfield [VA3OOG] before we lost the signal.”

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Video of successful ISS amateur radio contact with Italian schools

This video shows the successful ARISS contact for Italian Schools in Govone, Priocca and Diano dAlba, Italy.

On Thursday, November  8, 2012 at 1204 UT, students from Institute Comprehensive in Govone, Nino Costa Middle school in Priocca and Institute Comprehensive in Diano dAlba, Italy established ARISS contact with JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide KE5DNI onboard the International Space Station. Astronaut Akihiko Hoshide KE5DNI operated with the ISS callsign OR4ISS.

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Appointment of Frank Bauer, KA3HDO as AMSAT VP-Human Spaceflight Programs

AMSAT-NA President Barry Baines is pleased to announce that effective August 1, 2012, Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, will be returning as AMSAT’s Vice President for Human Spaceflight Programs. This role will include AMSAT’s leadership on the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Program and amateur radio operations pursuits on other Human Spaceflight vehicles proposed by NASA, International Space Agencies and domestic and international commercial spaceflight organizations.

Bauer made the following comment regarding his reappointment: “I look forward to working again with AMSAT as we bring the excitement of human space exploration pursuits and amateur radio communications into the communities of the world, inspiring youth to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) careers”. Continue reading

Ahmedabad students hope for Amateur Radio contact with ISS Commander Sunita Williams KD5PLB

Sunita Williams KD5PLB on the International Space Station

The Times of India reports that a group of students in Gujarat will reach out to the stars. About 500 students hope to have a live amateur radio contact with the Commander of the International Space Station Sunita Williams KD5PLB. It is believed this would be the first ISS contact made by Indian students and should take place using the ham radio station at Science City in Ahmedabad.

The newspaper says it is hoped to hold the contact between November 12 and 16. Read the story at