May 28:  ARISS educator Kathy Lamont, a Prince William County Schools (VA) gifted-education teacher at Belmont Elementary School in Woodbridge, was nominated and selected as the 2023 Air & Space Forces (AFA) Gabriel Chapter Teacher of the Year awardee. That made her eligible as a candidate, among other educators, for the 2023 Air & Space Forces Virginia Teacher of the Year—and she won!  AFA officials presented the state-level award to her at her school.

June 5: Students at Harbor Creek High School in Harborcreek, PA, have an ARISS contact late this year and recently, launched a weather balloon with ham radio equipment on board. Youth in the school’s Advanced Technologies Group (ATG) carried out the balloon project as a learning mission in preparation for the ARISS contact.  A student said, “We are using this event as a first-round test of our [radio] systems to shake out any bugs.” The payload consisted of an APRS (Automatic Packet Reporting System) unit that transmitted position, a Morse code radio beacon for tracking, and a digital Amateur TV transmitter experiment for youth to view and monitor the launch. Youths hope to launch two balloons in the fall; over 20 students enjoy the ATG. The past three years, many developed a keen interest in ham radio, earning ham licenses. The instructor said, “Five recently took and passed FCC exams, with another dozen studying. A few who graduated last year come back to launches.”  The school honors students with a display on the school radio room wall, recognizing those who earn FCC licenses. On this “Wall of Call Signs,” each student has a special brick celebrating their achievement, showing name and call sign, level of license earned, and date.

June 1: The ARISS-Russia Team carried out an ARISS contact and taught the About Gagarin from Space set of lessons at the Amur Mission Control Center area of the Amur State University in Blagoveshchensk.  This contact benefited the city’s students from the MAOU Ust-Ivanovo Secondary School.  16 students, a teacher, and a parent took part, along with university staff who gave tours and talks about the university’s space programs and careers. Sergey Prokopiev and Dmitry Petelin supported the ARISS radio contact.

June 4: Another ARISS radio contact sponsored by the ARISS-Russia team was hosted during the Children’s Creative Competition for the Day of Cosmonautics held in Orel, Russia. Eleven youth communicated with Andrey Fediaev during this ARISS radio contact; 30 people attended the event.  Youth learned lessons from the About Gagarin from Space program. Mission Control-Moscow scheduled this contact.

May 31 & June 1: Students from over 50 schools in many parts of the United Arab Emirates visited the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) in Dubai. They commented happily about their tour of the facility, glimpsing labs and workstations, seeing a presentation on space stations, and taking part in ARISS contacts. The MBRSC reported that:      

“Students received comprehensive training on ham radio, unravelling the complexities of the critical communication tool used since the 20th century. The highlight of the programme was the live ARISS contact, one each day, with Sultan Al Neyadi. Youth were spellbound.”

The UAE Astronaut Programme mission manager said, “Through these ham radio sessions with Sultan, we strive to ignite a passion for space and science in the next generation.” A short video created for MBRSC featured smiling girls and boys of various ages asking Al Neyadi their questions. A video of the action posted on Facebook earned 255 views.  A Centre web story is at MBRSC planned more events like these.

ARISS Social Media

ARISS social media leader Jim Reed reported these highlights for May 2023:

  • 332,663 impressions on ARISS social media for May, surpassing 300,000 for the second time this year.
  • 249 posts created, averaged 1,688.6 impressions per post. 
  • Post volume was driven by a higher number of reported ARISS events for May (11 school contacts, a convention, Ax-2 crew actions, and crew members making radio contacts with hams in addition to the scheduled school contacts).

ARISS Total May Social Media Metrics:

  • ARISS Twitter – Total Impressions / Views 236,933,  Interactions / Engagements 6,824 
  • ARISS Facebook – Total Impressions 91,541,  Interactions / Engagements 3,229
  • ARISS Instagram – Total Reach 4,189,  Interactions / Engagements 545
  • ARISS Mastodon – Interactions / Engagements 198
  • ARISS LinkedIn – 10 new Followers,  27 Reactions     
  • ARISS YouTube – 30 new Subscribers, Total Subscribers 1.95k

May Social Media Top Posts & April Total Metrics and images 

  • Top May Tweet–on ARISS contact at Saudi Space Commission: Impressions 21,787, Interactions / Engagements 433
  • Top May Facebook Post – list of ARISS radio frequencies: Reaches / Impressions 9,535,  Engagements 435
  • Top May Instagram Post – viewers favorite radio to use for ARISS contacts: Reach 124,  Interactions / Engagements 31, 30 Likes
  • Top May Mastodon Post – viewers’ favorite software to track the ISS: Interactions 16

ARISS Upcoming Events

June 20: Youth at Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, Dubai UAE–ARISS contact, ARISS-Europe Team

June 21: Space Port Area Conference for Educators, KSC, FL–ARISS contact, ARISS Educator Forum, ARISS Educate-the-Educator Workshop, ARISS-USA Team

June 22: Youth at Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, Dubai UAE–ARISS contact, ARISS-Europe Team