October 13: In West Peabody, MA, the Covenant Christian Academy (CCA) faculty introduced their ARISS contact to the audience by saying the entire student body, PK through 12th grade, was welcoming (virtually) a very special guest—Loral O’Hara. It was her first ARISS contact and she answered 20 student questions.  500 people were on hand; others watched the livestream (https://vimeo.com/event/3761617), which 90 minutes later, had gotten 430 views.  Seven media outlets ran stories:  Daily News, ItemLive, Ground News (2 stories), Bollyinside, 3 ARRL affiliates’ web sites, the Niche school review site, and The Salem News. The latter’s story is at https://www.salemnews.com/news/covenant-christian-academy-students-speak-with-international-space-station-through-ham-radio/article_0f9c9a68-6a0b-11ee-baed-9fc56bfb6610.html.  Lydia, a 7th grader, said: “It was really cool hearing her voice, [I was] thinking, wow she’s in space right now! I got answers to a lot of questions I’ve been wondering about ever since I heard of space station astronauts.” In preparation for the ARISS contact, all ages of students learned about outer space, the ISS, and amateur radio. STEM coordinator Jennifer O’Riordan said the faculty’s goal was to help students see science in action. An area ham operator helped develop after-school programs for CCA’s ham radio club on how to operate the amateur radio and know its range of uses from chatting with new friends to coordinating life-saving efforts during emergencies. 

October 17: The 1,260 students of Valley Stream (NY) South High School watched their peers converse with Andreas Mogensen; he answered 11 questions. In the hour prior to the contact, students and faculty presented a program including a choral group singing and short talks by Science Honors Society officers with help from the Long Island Mobile Amateur Radio Club (LIMARC). The talks summarized details on the ISS and how ham radio works to make an ARISS contact happen with onboard crew using the ARISS radio. The principal, dressed in a NASA jumpsuit, and Science Department Chair Jeanette Azzaretto fired up students’ enthusiasm; the latter giving them this thought: “The stars are not too far away; let this event be the spark that ignites your inspiration.”  Two TV stations ran coverage during their newscasts. The school district invited all other district schools to watch the livestream, it captured 274 views, and in 3 days, 852 more views. The URL is https://youtube.com/live/g74NbsTEvVw?feature=share. The ARISS Technical Mentor, remote in New Hampshire, saw 24 viewers tying into his system. Over several months’ time, students had engaged in science and ARISS lessons covering topics that included: astronomy and satellites, physics of rocket launches and orbital mechanics, and with help from LIMARC, amateur radio communications in space. 

October 11: Students from Sekolah Kebangsaan Wangsa Maju Seksyen 2 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia took part in an ARISS contact with Andreas Mogensen. He answered nine students’ questions and the lead teacher asked the tenth question: “What is the best advice for our students if they want to become an astronaut like you?”  72 people—students, educators, and administrators—came to watch at the Planetarium Negara. The staff sponsored activities for World Space Week and students enjoyed STEM programs with Kementerian Sains Teknologi on the importance of space technology.  The livestream on the planetarium’s Facebook site got many viewers and within 7 days’ time, captured 1.4k views. The YouTube video at https://www.youtube.com/live/YLMFcozC-2o?feature=shared got 695 views within 9 days. Viewer numbers for both videos are still climbing.

October 10: Poland ESERO (European Space Education Resource Office) hosted an online reception titled, “About Space over Coffee.” It featured a discussion about ARISS by science researcher and ARISS volunteer Dr. Armand Budzianowski. 60 people, mostly educators and students, listened. He spoke on the benefits to each of them of participating in ARISS projects and also the space activities that can be introduced into lessons and extracurricular activities, such as receiving radio signals and images from the ISS. He included how educators can compete for an ARISS contact and locate area radio amateurs to get their assistance.

October 14: The annual Melbourne Hamfest (a gathering of radio enthusiasts) in Florida prides itself as the second largest hamfest in the state with several thousand attending. The two day event features forums, among other things, and ARISS Technical Mentor Ryan Krenzischek presented a talk on ARISS. He gave a short history of the program followed by how to prepare to aid an education group with an ARISS contact, showed a several-minute video of an ARISS contact that took place in Melbourne in 2023, and ended with a Q&A. Afterwards, a high school teacher from Gainesville expressed interest to Ryan in writing an ARISS Education Proposal in hopes of winning an ARISS contact. Other attendees included ARISS engineer Lou McFadin.

October 11: An article posted online by The Western Journal described the ARISS program and featured a Michigan ham radio operator using his hand-held amateur radio and antenna to try to make a radio contact (which he did) with Woody Hoburg on the ISS. The writer aptly defined ARISS as an “educational program” and as “designed to use such out-of-this-world encounters to spark the imagination and enthusiasm of students to pursue careers in science and technology by allowing young people to chat with astronauts in space.”

ARISS Upcoming Events  
Oct 24: A.L. Burruss Elementary School, Marietta, GA—ARISS contact, ARISS-US Team