May 5: Classes were outside for the day at the Savannah (GA) River Academy. Students, with help from the National Weather Service and Amateur Radio Club of Columbia County, engaged in hands-on weather balloon launches, part of their lessons related to an autumn ARISS radio contact. The balloons carried a camera and a ham radio Automatic Packet Reporting System unit so students could track the balloons. A fifth grader recited the goals: track, record scientific data, and recover balloons when they pop and fall to earth.  More of the day’s STEM activities included students using ham radios to talk on the air and tapping out words on Morse code keys. ARISS-US Education Committee member Martha Muir and others supported the activities with the big hit being youth experimenting with a two-foot long Morse code key!  The Augusta Chronicle published an item about the outdoor lessons. TV station WRDW ran a story during a two news programs and in an online posting, with a teacher quote being: “The launch definitely caught the interest of many students … they have a passion for weather and space.”  Links are:


May 6: The French publication, REF Magazine, carried an article titled “Discover the IK1SLD Telebridge,” by a French ARISS team member. The write-up contained many photos of the ARISS telebridge ham radio ground station in Casale Monferrato, Italy, including the station room, the radio equipment used for ARISS contacts, and the volunteers who run the operations. The author had driven with his family from France to Italy to visit the station and the trip inspired his daughter to study for and earn her ham radio license.

May 7: The Green Bank (WV) Elementary Middle School ARISS contact was successful. Details will be in next week’s report.

Social Media

As of April 30, 2021, ARISS Twitter followers totaled 14,625, a slight gain over March.

As of April 30, 2021, Instagram followers had a 6% gain over the end of March, and now total 314.

YouTube Members:
As of April 30, YouTube members totaled over 1,320. Four months ago, the total was a little over 800. 

ARISS Web Unique Pageviews:
In April ARISS Web Unique Pageviews totaled 44,749, an increase over March.

Upcoming Events
May 11  College Descartes, Atony France, ARISS contact, ARISS-Europe Team