Video of TV News Report on ISS Contact

Engineers of the future talk to the International Space Station using Amateur Radio

YNN (channel 9) reports on an “out of this world” amateur radio contact between campers attending RIT’s Everyday Engineering Program in Rochester and astronaut Sunita Williams KD5PLB

Sunita was operating the Kenwood TM-D700 ham radio station located in the International Space Station’s Service Module using the callsign NA1SS on 145.800 MHz. The Everyday Engineering Program station at the Rochester Institute of Technology had the callsign W2RIT.

The Women in Engineering Program at Rochester Institute of Technology (WE@RIT) is dedicated to increasing the representation of women engineers and women leaders within the engineering profession. Founded in 2003, WE@RIT strives towards achieving gender parity within the Kate Gleason College of Engineering and hosts a comprehensive series of pre-engineering outreach, recruitment, and community building programs in support of this vision.

Watch RIT on TV News: Chat with International Space Station

Encouraging Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

First US Woman Astronuat Sally Ride on STS-7 - Image Credit NASA

The Women in STEM High School Aerospace Scholars  (WISH) project is sponsoring two six-day summer camps for rising high school seniors that should feature a presentation by astronaut Shannon Walker KD5DXB and an Amateur Radio contact with the International Space Station (ISS).

Eighty-four female high school students from 29 states will plan a simulated mission to Mars and experience life as an engineer or scientist when NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston hosts two events focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in June and July.

Shannon Walker KD5DXB - Image Credit NASA

The young women will work in teams with female NASA mentors to develop mission plans for launching to Mars, living and working there, and integrating the many components necessary for a successful planetary mission. They will work within the confines of a fictitious budget and build several small mockups of vehicles to demonstrate a successful launch and landing of the Mars spacecraft.

“WISH gives some of our brightest future innovators a chance to experience some of the exciting challenges that NASA engineers and scientists face on a daily basis,” said Johnson Deputy Director and four-time space shuttle astronaut Ellen Ochoa KB5TZZ. “It shows the young women that there are a variety of opportunities for them in technical fields.”

Young women participating June 24-29 will hear a first-hand account of life in space from NASA astronaut and radio amateur Shannon Walker KD5DXB. Participants July 8-13 will have a chance to speak with a current space station astronaut via ham radio as part of the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station program, a NASA educational initiative that facilitates direct links between students and astronauts.

The young women were selected based on completion of interactive, online lessons focused on space exploration and mapped to national education standards, academic merits and geographic diversity. The WISH program encourages young women to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics degrees and exposes them to the real-world applications of STEM careers at NASA. This program is in its second year. It began as a NASA accompaniment to the White House Council on Women and Girls.

For more information about WISH and a list of student participants, visit:

WISH: Women in STEM High School Aerospace Scholars

Source NASA

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station ARISS