Students at Sandringham School, St. Albans have been running through final preparations for their amateur radio contact with UK astronaut Tim Peake GB1SS on board the International Space Station.
The school caters for 1300 students aged 11-19 with 100 teachers including specialist teachers of computing science and three female physics teachers all of whom have a specialist interest in space and astronomy. In addition, the head teacher Alan Gray G4DJX is a very active radio amateur who is extremely supportive of this contact.
ARISS UK (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) has provided and set up all necessary radio equipment such as low earth orbit satellite tracking antennas and radios, to establish a fully functional, direct radio link with the ISS from the school premises. In a ten-minute window when the ISS will be over the UK, an amateur radio contact will be established with Tim, and students will be able to ask him questions about his life and work on board the ISS.
Initial radio contact with Tim is expected to be made by Year 10 pupil Jessica Leigh M6LPJ who, along with two other students, passed her Foundation exam just before Christmas after training with the Verulam Amateur Radio Club.
During the week there has been a wide range of activities to engage the students in space, including a presentation from Spacecraft Engineer Sian Cleaver, mobile planetariums, an amateur radio buildathon, rocket workshops and talks on Mars and Cosmonauts.
As part of the Space festival some of the young women at Sandringham School built a model of the ISS. Watch Women In Engineering #SANDspace
ARISS contact planned for school in St. Albans
Students in Amateur Radio Buildathon https://amsat-uk.org/2016/01/06/students-in-ham-radio-buildathon/
The contact will be web streamed from the school, watch live at https://principia.ariss.org/live/
The Chair of the RSGB Youth Committee Mike Jones 2E0MLJ and the RSGB President John Gould G3WKL will be attending the contact. The RSGB video ‘Amateur Radio: A Hobby for the 21st Century’ will be shown to the students.
You can listen to the Sandringham School contact with Tim Peake on the ISS at 0847 GMT on Friday, January 8, either online or by using a ham radio tuned to 145.800 MHz FM, further information at
What is Amateur Radio? http://www.essexham.co.uk/what-is-amateur-radio
Find an amateur radio training course near you https://thersgb.org/services/coursefinder/