October 26: ARISS educator Gina Kwid coaches the Galileo STEM Academy’s STEM Club—the school is in Eagle, ID.  She took club members, fourth and fifth graders, to the Eagle Island State Park, near the town, so students could enjoy getting outside for portable ham radio operations. They took part in a US-wide ham activity called Parks on the Air.  Before heading out from the school for the park, kids had practiced talking on the portable radios. At the park, the STEM Club’s other three sponsors, area ham operators, set up the radio station and antenna with a little help from the kids.   

October 25: ARISS enthusiast Randy Hall presented a talk during the particularly popular weekly virtual program for ham operators, Ham Radio Crash Course. He gave an update on his favorite ARISS activity, Slow Scan TV (SSTV picture links) sessions, where cosmonauts transmit images for space enthusiasts, ham operators, educators, and students to download. Live viewers of his session totaled 595, and within 8 days, another 1,705 had watched.  Mr. Hall’s talk covered the latest updates on ARISS SSTV, and his charts explained easy ways to download the images. 

November 22:  ARISS thanks NASA for posting a Science on Station story that describes ARISS activities that encourage young people worldwide to study STEM. The story said:  “These programs aim to inspire the next generation of space scientists and explorers and experts who solve problems facing people on earth.” NASA cited ARISS as the first and longest running educational outreach program on the ISS. A footnote cited the recent article written by ARISS team member Martin Diggens and others about the impact of ARISS on students. See NASA’s web posting at https://www.nasa.gov/missions/station/science-on-station-november-2023/

November 15: ARISS educator Melissa Pore co-moderated a panel session at the ISS National Lab User Advisory Committee Workshop held in Washington DC. The panel session, an event before the opening of the 2023 annual meeting of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research, focused on a STEM workforce and the future of space. The panel session, titled “What does STEM workforce development mean to you?” garnered 100 attendees and other people listened virtually. They included researchers, professors, and representatives of non-profit groups and commercial space companies. Panelists led a Q&A at the end of the session where Melissa highlighted ARISS as a perfect pathway for students to be inspired about STEM careers, the pathway many of her students have followed.   

November 15: ARISS’ 40th Anniversary Conference in February 2024 at the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex was approved by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL—the national headquarters for ham radio operators) to be named an ARRL-sanctioned Specialty Conference. This means ARRL will publicize the conference in its weekly e-letter (107k subscribers) and monthly journal (160k members), and a descriptive listing has now been posted on its web pages. The publicity should bring in more attendees and ARRL will also provide some door prizes.

November 18:  ARISS Social Media leader Jim Reed spoke about ARISS during a special “Weather Pod,” the name of podcasts hosted by the Carolina Weather Group. Jim talked about a few schools going ahead with hosting scheduled ARISS contacts despite a hurricane and other disasters in their area, giving youth and communities a much-needed boost.  This particular Weather Pod, titled “Weather Pods Disaster Relief Telethon, raised funds for disaster relief activities and to support the American Red Cross. Five hosts moderated the telethon and The Weather Channel’s well-known Jim Cantore was a guest speaker. In a week’s time, the YouTube garnered 222 viewers.

November 17:  ISS Ham Radio Project Coordinator Kenneth Ransom and ARISS team member Ana Guzman at Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX spoke to six NASA astronaut candidates about the ARISS program and ARISS school radio contacts.  The meeting covered technical aspects of the radio operations and communications. Other parts of the meeting highlighted the cool aspects of talking to large groups of students at educational facilities and the major inspiration astronauts’ ARISS radio contacts give to students, teachers, parents, and the community. Six more of the candidates plan to attend similar sessions in the coming weeks. 

ARISS Upcoming Events
February 22-24, 2023: Human Spaceflight Amateur Radio: 40th Anniversary Celebration, KSC Center for Space Education, Titusville FL  —ARISS conference & gala, ARISS-I Team