March 4: Students at IES Pedro Simón Abril High School in Alcaraz, Spain experienced an ARISS radio contact with Loral O’Hara. Three hundred people watched the youth as Loral answered 20 student questions. The livestream captured 70 viewers and in 4 days’ time, the viewer total grew to 824. The media turned out in force: 2 national radio stations, 3 regional radio stations, 1 regional newspaper, and 1 online newspaper. The latter quoted a student saying, This has been amazing for me, I have swelled up to cry.”  The ARISS contact was phase one of a project titled #AlcarazISS, an initiative involving 600 university and high school students. The initiative aims to bring science and technology to rural youth.

February 27: Educators at Centennial Campus Magnet Middle School Center for Innovation in Raleigh, NC gave students a broad understanding of space through various activities prior to their upcoming ARISS contact. Three of these are summarized here. Educators challenged 171 sixth graders to design and build a shock absorber to prevent a moon lander from sinking deep into the Moon’s fine surface dust.  More students and their families got the chance to take the challenge, too, during the school event, Night of Excellence. Another activity—a virtual one—allowed youth to try their hand at a simulated docking of a spacecraft with the ISS.  Other students created and hung posters that stretched down a school hallway; posters listed facts they’d researched about the Solar System bodies—comparing planets’ proportions, diameters, and distances between each. The school works with North Carolina State University and has an ARISS contact in late spring. 

ARISS Social Media

ARISS social media leader Jim Reed reported January 2024 Social Media highlights:

  • ARISS’s many February activities led to more posts than in January, resulting in a 53% increase in Impressions—over 400,000 in February.
  • Facebook brought home the best February results­—delivering nearly 250K Impressions.   
  • Followers continued to grow in February; we passed 12,000 on Facebook, alone.

February Total Impressions on X and Facebook – 411,832

February Total Followers on X and Facebook – 31,887

February 2024 Total Impressions and Total Interactions/Engagements

  • ARISS X – Total Impressions / Views 162,084,  Interactions / Engagements 6,174 
  • ARISS Facebook – Total Impressions / Views 249,748,  Interactions / Engagements 5,478
  • ARISS Total New Followers across all ARISS Social Platforms  – 537
  • ARISS You Tube – Total subscribers  2,100
  • ARISS Weg pages – Unique Visits 16,465, Page Views 49,481 

February Top Posts on X and Facebook

  • Top X post (9,639 Impressions, 655 Engagements:) image of HamTV unit to fly on SpaceX-30
  • Top Facebook post (76,939 Impressions, 633 Engagements): ARISS engineer Lou McFadin holds first ham radio (he modified it in 1983 for launch) used in space

ARISS Upcoming Events  
Mar 20: Second Chance School, Orestiada, Orestiada, Greece-ARISS contact, ARISS-Europe Team
Mar TBD: St. John’s School Authority, Newfoundland, Canada-ARISS contact – ARISS-Canada Team