AMSAT-UK members are leading on the Amateur Radio on the ISS (ARISS) Schools contacts programme for the upcoming Tim Peake Principia mission to the ISS. A number of high profile school contacts are planned to be carried out and this activity is being coordinated with the UK Space Agency as part of the overall Principia Educational Outreach programme.
Two specially augmented Raspberry Pi’s called Astro Pi‘s are planned to fly on an Orbital Sciences’ Cygnus cargo freighter to the ISS in early December. They will be used by UK astronaut Tim Peake KG5BVI during his Principia mission on the Space Station which is expected to commence in mid-December.
The Astro Pi’s are planned to run experimental Python programs written by young people in schools across the country; the results will be returned back to Earth at the end of the mission. ARISS/AMSAT-UK members are actively involved in discussions with the UK Space Agency, ESA, the Raspberry Pi Foundation and others to establish the feasibility of re-purposing one of the Astro Pi units, either within or post Tim Peake’s mission, to provide an alternative video source for the amateur radio HamTV transmitter in the ISS Columbus module. Additional discussions are ongoing with all parties for joint educational activities into the future with the Astro Pi units being networked and potentially enhancing the capability of the amateur radio station on board Columbus.
The main mission of HamTV is to perform contacts between the astronauts on the ISS and school students, not only by voice as now, but also by unidirectional video from the ISS to the ground. ARISS has been working with Goonhilly and hope to provide a video download facility via one of their large dishes for the schools contacts as well as attempting to receive the video at each school as part of the contact.
Principia mission http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Human_Spaceflight/Principia
School Shortlist for Tim Peake Space Station Contact