February 20-24: ARISS’s conference at KSC celebrating 40 years of positives from ham radio on human spaceflight was a success! At the ARISS-International meeting, 44 people from around the globe discussed current and future activities, and enjoyed a KSC bus tour. Next, a two-day education conference’s 105 attendees took in educational and technical talks about ham radio on shuttles, Mir, and the ISS. Astronauts came: Tony England, Bill McArthur, Ken Cameron, Mike Finke, Nicole Stott, and private astronaut Richard Garriott recalled their missions’ school radio contacts. In education session, educators told how radio contacts led them to new STEM projects and youth said they were inspired to choose STEM careers. Johnson Space Center’s Cynthia McArthur spoke on ARISS having moved to a more robust education proposal process to select schools. A surprise ARISS radio contact with Loral O’Hara and Jasmin Moghbeli, who congratulated ARISS on its celebrations, answered questions from youth and educators. The final talk was by two NASA experts on thoughts for a future in space, Cislunar and beyond.  

February 22: Heart of Central California Girl Scout Troops 1089, 917, 793, and 1105 located near Sacramento, CA enjoyed an ARISS radio contact with Jasmin Moghbeli; she answered 20 of their questions while a group of 35 listened on site. A KCRA TV rep covering the contact shared a quote from Adriana Pedroza, Associate Director with Girl Scouts Heart of Central California: “The girls dreamed up this idea [ARISS contact]. They really implemented all of it, made the decisions, and took on all processes on their own.“  A YouTube livestream snagged 356 views; the troop’s Facebook video and Zoom offerings garnered even more. Media coverage resulted in 21 media hits in addition to KCRA’s story, including: KTVU-TV, The Lawton Constitution, Daily Republic,Cap Radio, Yahoo News, and 2 items in the Sacramento Bee.  The scouts prepared for their contact by engaging in seven learning sessions, titled Space & STEM Educational Activities and Experiences, that involved researching current ISS research and space science careers, downloading ARISS SSTV images (picture downlinks) from the ISS, building a radio, working with a software-defined radio, and more. This led to earning the Space Science Master Badge and STEM Career Exploration Badge. River City Amateur Radio Communications Society members mentored lessons in communications and electrical circuits.

February 15: Excited students participated in an ARISS contact with B. Russell High School in Rome, Italy, talking with Jasmin Moghbeli. She answered 12 of their questions with a large audience of 626 people listening, many being students. The contact, livestreamed on YouTube, had 526 viewers and that grew to 1,000 views in 2 weeks’ time–see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0YEgMvzbn8. To prepare for their ARISS contact, students researched facts about the ISS and space exploration, collected and analyzed telemetry from weather sensors, and put together and worked with electrical circuits and antennas to discover facets of electromagnetic fields, propagation, and reception. Members of the Italian Amateur Radio Association of Rome assisted with technical training.

February 15 & 16:  Two days in a row, the ARISS-Russia team supported ARISS radio contacts. Youth at Naro-Fominsk in the Moscow Oblast engaged in the first ARISS contact. Nikolay Chub spoke with the young people who had learned about space and radio communications. Students at Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University in Kaliningrad, Russia took part in the second contact and talked with Konstantin Borisov. 

ARISS Upcoming Events  
TBD: Second Chance School-Orestiada, Orestiada, Greece-ARISS contact, ARISS-Europe Team