June 14-15: ARISS leaders Frank Bauer and Marty Schulman and ARISS volunteer Alan Johnston mentored ARISS’ new NASA interns at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). Undergrads Nitin Vegesna and Ashish Dhanalakota and high school student Unsh Rawal received indoctrination introducing them to ARISS, communications, wireless radio, and two of ARISS’ new education programs. But the colossal hit was when they got to speak with Kjell Lindgren on the ISS using the ARISS radio system! It happened while they toured the ARISS radio ground station at GSFC. As each young man spoke with Kjell, they said, “I’m a NASA intern!” The students will be working on tasks tied to two ARISS education programs, STEREO (Student and Teacher Education via Radio Experimentation and Operations) and ARISS *STAR* (Space Telerobotics using Amateur Radio). The interns had already taken part in a June 2 kick-off telecon.

June 14: Istituto Tecnico Industrile Alessandro Rossi (ITIS) in Vicenza, Veneto, Italy had invited two schools—Don Bosco Comprehensive Institute in Monticello Conte Otto and Antonio Barolini Comprehensive Institute in Vicenza—to take part in an ARISS contact and a variety of STEM activities. Samantha Cristoforetti supported the ARISS contact and answered 15 student questions. 143 people were on hand with the live stream garnering 250 views. Three days later, 2,581 people had viewed a YouTube recording of the contact. Reporters from a TV station and some newspaper services provided coverage. ITIS was founded in order to import the model of German technical schools to Italy for students age 14 to 19. The curriculum covers electrical technology, computer science, telecommunications, mechanics, artificial intelligence, introductory robotics and chemistry. The telecommunications students, supported by an area company, built the radio antenna for this ARISS contact.   

June 13-17: The Eaton (CO) Public Library partnered with area school students when planning to host its upcoming ARISS contact. This summer, library programs included their “Space Storytime” and star shows. A week-long Space Camp was put on, featuring hands-on STEM activities that engaged kids in space, communications, and radio topics, and they learned about the ISS and astronauts on board. The Eaton Library team conducted with students a full-dress rehearsal of their ARISS contact with ARISS Technical Mentor Fred Kemmerer. He wrote: “The kids and parents are showing high excitement and interest as they anticipate their upcoming ARISS contact.”

June 24 -26: Drawing worldwide amateur radio operators and enthusiasts, Ham Radio, a conference in Friedrichshafen, Germany is back after two years of COVID restrictions. This is one of the largest amateur radio events in the world. The ARISS-Europe team will staff an ARISS booth and present forums; details will be in next week’s report.

June 6: The online space news group, SPACEREF, ran the NASA Space Station Status Report, which included a paragraph on an ARISS contact supported by Samantha Cristoforetti.  The posting, about the Scuola media S.Pietro in Sardegna, Italy, reported some questions students asked—about solar systems and life forms and if the crew would like to live or visit other planets. The report cited ARISS’ mission of providing amateur radio opportunities with astronauts to engage and educate students, teachers, parents and members of the community.

June 11-12: ARRL-ARISS Committee Chair Mark Tharp set up an ARISS exhibit at the Apple City Amateur Radio Club Hamfest held in East Wenatchee, WA.  The display area showcased an ARISS roll-up and handouts for 109 of the ham radio operators to see.      

ARISS Upcoming Events 

June 22: Eaton Public Library, Eaton CO  ARISS contact, ARISS-US team
June 24-25 Ham Radio, Friedrichshafen Germany  ARISS exhibit/talks, ARISS-Europe team