January 3: ARISS-International Chair Frank Bauer gave a presentation during the bi-weekly Ham Radio Crash Course – HamNation online ham radio podcast. He explained many exciting aspects of the upcoming 40th Anniversary Conference: Celebrating the Positive Impact of Amateur Radio on Human Spaceflight to be held at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex from February 22 – 24. He expounded on the earliest history of use of ham radio on space vehicles (1983, by astronaut Owen Garriott on STS-9) and invited listeners to go to the ARISS web site to register to attend the celebration events. Frank mentioned that nearly 1,600 ARISS school radio contacts have now taken place. For the remainder of the presentation, he handled a Q & A session. Listeners totaled 356, and in 3 days’ time, 3.9K…and that will keep increasing!

January 4-5:  Last week’s report covered Harbor Creek High School’s ARISS contact; here is a happy update. An NBC TODAY Show producer had spotted a late-November article about ARISS, carried on the NASA Space Station Research web page, which included Rosalie White’s email address. The NBC producer contacted Rosalie about doing an ARISS story, and learned all about ARISS and the Harbor Creek School’s ARISS-related activities. An NBC team including Harry Smith traveled to the school the day before their ARISS contact and spent much of two days taping. NBC ran promos, then aired Harry’s 6.5-minute live segment, and offered a YouTube and social media posts. ARISS continues to collect statistics, but the average audience of TODAY Show live segments is 2.5M and around that many more people will see local NBC stations’ clips in addition to other folks viewing social posts—and ARISS’ social posts. In just 30 hours’ time, NBC’s X post had captured 37.6K views! Andreas Mogensen saw a post and re-tweeted (garnering over 5K views), adding: “Wow. How great for me to see behind the scenes of a recent ARISS radio contact.” The TODAY Show segment is at:


January 2: NASA released its 2024 International Space Station Calendar with its outstanding photos and fascinating facts about the ISS. The final page featured a set of URLs for people to click to learn more. ARISS felt honored that when people click some of the links, they will find stories featuring, among other things, an ARISS radio contact supported by Chris Hadfield, the MarconISSta ham radio spectrum research project that ARISS partnered on, small satellites built by ARISS students at Kursk University, and an ARISS contact that involved hundreds of students networked together from 12 Central American countries.

December 27-30: An ARISS Slow Scan TV (SSTV—picture downlinks) experiment took place, resulting in many thrilled participants; they had waited since the last SSTV session in October.  The experiment offered downlinks on several days during limited passes and on a different radio frequency than usual. The event employed the ARISS voice repeater system in the Columbus Module rather than the Service Module’s SSTV system. The ARISS team declared the experiment a success; 481 unique participants downloaded and posted 992 images in the ARISS SSTV Gallery at https://www.spaceflightsoftware.com/ARISS_SSTV/.  Of the 481 participants, 112 answered the survey saying they were educators and 28 answered that they were individual students. One participant wrote, “A great thank you for this SSTV event!”

December 29: The online ham radio news podcast Amateur Radio Newsline carried a report featuring February’s ARISS 40-year anniversary conference titled “Celebrating the Positive Impact of Amateur Radio on Human Spaceflight.”  The reporter gave a call out that ARISS wants to receive stories or videos of stories from teachers and students who engaged in an ARISS school contact—stories about the effect the radio contact made on their lives. The report ended with a quote from ARISS: “The historic 40th anniversary conference will be a retrospective of what has been accomplished and will highlight our exciting amateur radio human spaceflight plans on the horizon.”

December Social Media metrics  

ARISS social media leader Jim Reed reported December Social Media highlights:

  • 3rd month in 2023 that ARISS had over 500,000 Impressions
  • highest monthly 2023 engagements—20.8K Engagements (next highest had been 18.6K)
  • Video leveraged for ARISS’s set of STS-9 posts—during December, 28.6K clip views & nearly 5K minutes watched across X, FB, Instagram
  • YouTube Live Event of Richard Garriott—nearly 400 views and 38.2 Watch Hours
  • 2023 Follower growth—terrific; added 6.2K Followers (23.6%) to our feeds

December Total Impressions and Total Interactions/Engagements

Nearly all numbers doubled from last month–      

  • ARISS X – Total Impressions / Views 372,958,  Interactions / Engagements  13,881 
  • ARISS Facebook – Total Impressions / Views 340,847,  Interactions / Engagements 8,446
  • ARISS Total New Followers across platforms 1,120
  • ARISS LinkedIn – Total Impressions 230,  Reactions 10
  • ARISS YouTube – Total subscribers increased to 2,080
  • ARISS Web Pages – Unique Visits 26,203, Page Views 90,193

December Top Posts

Top X post (26,711 Impressions, 166 Engagements) about NASA’s story on ARISS’ 40-Year Celebrations

Top Facebook post (70,607 Impressions, 883 Engagements) about 1983 video of Astronaut Owen Garriott explaining the STS-9 onboard ham radio station

ARISS Upcoming Events  
Potential late Jan. schedule: ARISS contacts supported by Axiom-3 crew members, ARISS-Europe Team
February 22-24, 2024: Human Spaceflight Amateur Radio: 40th Anniversary Celebration, KSC Center for Space Education, Titusville FL—ARISS conference & gala, ARISS-I Team