January 6:  Students from 25 schools on a number of Galapagos Islands were involved in an ARISS contact hosted by the Oswaldo Guayasamín School of Basic Education in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island, Ecuador. Victor Glover answered 11 questions from the schools’ students who were joined in online from home through an ARISS ground station in South Africa. A YouTube livestream on the ARISS Channel engaged 325 live views including the Galapagos Islands’ school board.  Five days later, 2,883 viewers watched.  The link is: https://youtu.be/3XmNxHTtR6Q. The morning’s events began with a short video of Tim Peake describing ARISS contacts and the ISS ham station; the team had added Spanish subtitles to the video. Students then gave very short presentations, and the Galapagos Islands governor Norman Wray spoke to listeners. All of the 18 schools’ students have been studying space, communications, and the environment.

January 3: The ARISS-US Education Committee’s team that reviews ARISS Education Proposal submissions has accepted seven from education institutions for the next ARISS contact cycle. The ARISS contacts with astronauts on the ISS will take place July 1 through December 31, 2021. The organizations will move forward with activities leading up to their radio contacts. These activities, described in their proposals, engage students in STEAM projects, enhancing their awareness of space, communications, and exploration, and are meant to inspire them to consider STEAM careers. The groups chosen for this cycle are:

December 26: A professor who also manages the amateur radio station at the University of Arizona (U of A) had told students about the December ARISS SSTV downlinks. One student built a radio system so he could receive high quality images, but had a day of system failures. The next morning at 3 AM, the student and professor went to the U of A observatory roof to try the system. The student’s downloads were no better. He went home and developed a receiver chain; it included amplifiers and filters. His determination paid off; he began receiving great images that celebrated ARISS’s 20 years of success.    

December 2020: An ARISS follower and ham radio operator enjoyed engaging students from the Kamehameha High School Science Club in Maui, Hawaii in space communications.  The high school students tracked satellites and were interested in ARISS activities.

Upcoming Events  

January 13: Shigagakuen Junior & Senior High School in Higashioumi, Japan is scheduled for an ARISS school contact. Shannon Walker will support the radio contact.

January 20: Students at Hisagi Junior High School inZushi, Japan will have an ARISS radio contact with Shannon Walker supporting.

January 21: Maine Regional School in Kennebunk, Maine is hosting an ARISS contact. Mike Hopkins will support this radio contact.