Inspiring Youth with Science in Space

Astronaut Sunita Williams KD5PLB answers questions from a student using amateur radio

Astronaut Sunita Williams KD5PLB answers questions from a student using amateur radio

NASA highlight the role of amateur radio in letting young people speak directly with astronauts and cosmonauts on the International Space Station:

An ARISS contact takes place as a part of a comprehensive suite of education activities. To prepare for an exchange, students study the space station and the research conducted there. They also learn about wireless technology, radio science, and satellite communication used for space exploration.

The space station must pass over these earthbound communicators during amateur radio transmissions in order to relay signals between the space station’s ham radio and ground receivers. Other factors affect the timing of scheduled contacts, including weather, crew availability, and the schedules of visiting vehicles.

These ham radio conversations usually last about 10 minutes. Crew members answer questions from students as they and community members look on. During a pass, the crew can answer an average of 18 questions, depending on their complexity.

Ham radio on the space station connects and inspires students in four ways: providing first-hand education about life in space, directly connecting students with space station crew, sharing amateur radio technologies, and building global partnerships.

Read the full NASA story at

Brazil: High school students shown amateur radio

Gonçalves Dias School Students

Gonçalves Dias School Students

Brazilian radio amateurs participated in a Science Fair at Gonçalves Dias School, Boa Vista on October 16, 2019.

Paulo PV8DX used basic concepts of physics and geography when explaining amateur radio to the students. As well as theory they there were also practicals involving the students in antenna construction and contacts using the transponder on the amateur radio satellite LAPAN IO-86.

Paulo had asked AMSAT-UK FUNcube team if a special ‘Fitter‘ message could be transmitted from the FUNcube-1 (AO-73) satellite. This was arranged and the message from space was received at the school.

Watch Atividade Escolar – Ham Radio – By PV8DX

Further information on FUNcube-1 ‘Fitter’ messages and how to request one is available at


University CubeSat Club members get ham radio licenses

Dawson Duckworth KC3NNB, Lauren Hurley KD2RHC, Kaixuan Ji AC3EN and Dr. Alan Johnston KU2Y staffed the AMSAT / Villanova CubeSat Club table at the Robotstock/STEM event in August

Dawson Duckworth KC3NNB, Lauren Hurley KD2RHC, Kaixuan Ji AC3EN and Dr. Alan Johnston KU2Y staffed the AMSAT / Villanova CubeSat Club table at the Robotstock/STEM event in August

Students at the Villanova University College of Engineering started a CubeSat Club in the fall of 2018 and have since got their amateur radio licenses.

The university website reports:

A CubeSat is a nanosatellite—a small, lightweight satellite that is cheaper to build than a conventional satellite. They can be launched from rockets, or occasionally from the International Space Station by astronauts. CubeSats send telemetry information—measurements communicated at remote points by automated processes—over radio signals received on earth by a ground station.

The CubeSat club’s 2018-2019 year was packed with a variety of workshops and projects, including:

• Setting up temporary ground stations called SatNOGS (Satellite Network Operators Group)
• Building Yagi-Uda antennas from tape measurers and scrap wood and using them to track low earth orbit satellites as they flew over Villanova
• Building an AMSAT CubeSat Simulator, a functional satellite model
• Assisting with the freshman CubeSat mini-design projects
• Earning amateur radio licenses and ham radio callsigns
• Assembling and selling electronic transceiver boards used in CubeSats as a fundraiser
• Attending the 2019 Hamvention conference and running the AMSAT education table
• Received and decoded a special message sent from the AO-73 FUNcube Satellite especially for Villanova

Read the full story at

The students emailed a request to the FUNcube Operations Team to get their special message transmitted from space by the AO-73 satellite. Further information on these ‘Fitter’ messages is available at

ESEO student satellite to enter final test phase

Dr Chris Bridges M0IEB and Pete Bartram conduct uplink command testing on the ESEO payload in the grounds of University of Surrey

Dr Chris Bridges M0IEB and Pete Bartram conduct uplink command testing on the ESEO payload in the grounds of University of Surrey

The European Student Earth Orbiter (ESEO) satellite carries the AMSAT-UK FUNcube-4 amateur radio 1260/145 MHz FM transponder. On September 27 it successfully completed the vibrations test.

In the past few years, ten student teams from different European universities have combined forces to produce essential equipment for the spacecraft, including subsystems parts, scientific or technology demonstration instrumentation, and the ground mission control support for this micro-satellite mission, planned to fly to Low Earth Orbit later this year.

The project reached an important milestone on August 28, 2018, when the assembly integration of the ESEO spacecraft was declared complete. In this phase all the satellite’s physical parts were assembled together, and all functional interconnections were checked to confirm they work as required.

On September 27, 2018 ESEO reached another key milestone, when it successfully completed the vibrations test campaign at SITAEL’s premises in Mola di Bari, Italy. ESEO has now demonstrated that its design is solid enough to safely withstand the mechanical solicitations it will undergo during the rocket launch.

In the next couple of weeks it will undergo the so-called thermal vacuum and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) tests at ESA’s ESTEC site in the Netherlands.

Read the full ESA story at


ESEO satellite FUNcube-4 transponder talk will take place at the RSGB Convention on Sunday, October 14. The talk will be streamed live to a global audience, details at

Ada Lace book features amateur radio and space communications

Emily Calandrelli KD8PKR with her new Ada Lace book

Emily Calandrelli KD8PKR with her new Ada Lace book

Ada Lace, Take Me to Your Leader is a new book written for young people by Emily Calandrelli KD8PKR that features amateur radio and space communications.

Ada is an 8-year-old with a knack for science, mathematics, and solving mysteries with technology. Her latest project is to fix up a ham radio, something that she could use to contact people on this planet and beyond.

The book is available on Amazon at

Emily Calandrelli KD8PKR

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Radio hams receive Slow Scan TV from Space

ISS SSTV 9-9 Edmund Spicer M0MNG 2018-04-11-1730z

ISS SSTV received by Edmund Spicer M0MNG

Radio amateurs around the world are receiving Slow Scan Television images on 145.800 MHz FM from the International Space Station.

The transmissions by ARISS Russia are in celebration of Cosmonautics Day and should continue until 1820 GMT on Saturday, April 14.

Pete M0PSX of Essex Ham reports receiving good pictures using a colinear antenna.

Edmund Spicer M0MNG, a regular guest on the bi-weekly ICQ Amateur Radio Podcast, received an image at 1730 GMT on Wednesday, April 11 using a 5 element ZL Special Yagi and a FT-991. He said it was probably the best quality image he’s ever received from the ISS.

Others have reported receiving images using just a $35 Baofeng UV-5R VHF/UHF FM handheld radio and 1/4 wave antenna.

Read the Essex Ham report which includes times to receive the SSTV signal over Essex

Further information on the Russian ISS SSTV event to celebrate Cosmonautics Day

The SSTV can be displayed on a Windows PC using the MMSSTV App, you can even hold an iPhone or iPad next to the radio with the appropriate iOS SSTV App. Links to Apps and other information at

If you receive a full or partial picture from the Space Station your Local Newspaper may like to know

The RSGB produce a handy Media Guide and Template press release for anyone to download and adapt, see

An example of the publicity you can get for the hobby by telling your Local Newspaper