June 22: Youth at Eaton Public Library in Eaton, CO had the privilege of talking with Kjell Lindgren during their ARISS radio contact. They asked 16 questions before the ISS traveled over the horizon. 233 people attended the event or watched the livestream. In 5 days’ time, 254 people had viewed the recording. The New Hampshire News and Public Opinion Pros, two online news outlets, carried stories about the contact. The library’s livestream is at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81zMIvrAnLU. Days prior to the radio contact, library staff welcomed area students to a week-long Space Camp where they enjoyed soda-can-propelled rockets, Pin the Planet on the Solar System, Galaxy Slime, and Botly the Coding Robot. Ham operators from the Weld Amateur Radio Society taught the youth about ISS orbits and radio communications.
June 17: Students at South West State University (SWSU) in Kursk, Russia in conjunction with ARISS-Russia, designed and built eight Tsiolkovsky SWSU satellites. Some were launched to the ISS in February and some in June. Oleg Artemyev prepped all satellites, connecting them to the Service Module’s antenna feed device, and turned them on during orbits over Korolyov (Russian Mission Control Center) for controllers to monitor. They heard telemetry, confirming satellites’ operability. SWSU will post circuit board diagrams for other students to study. The mission of SWSU’s satellites is to: create a peer-to-peer information network, study Earth’s magnetic field and radio noise in outer space, and transmit photos and voice messages (each satellite’s phrase is different) in eight languages. Two other satellites were built by Ryazan State Radio Engineering University and were launched to the ISS. The Tsiolkovsky-Ryazan devices carry transmitters that can calibrate the sensitivity of radio telescopes at Pushchino Radio Astronomy Observatory at the Astro-Space Center of the Physical Institute. These two satellites can emit radio signals to aid the study of the ionosphere’s radio wave propagation. All satellites were named Tsiolkovsky satellites to honor what would have been Konstantin Tsiolkovsky’s (Father of Russian Rocketry) 165th birthday. It is hoped that during a spacewalk in about a month, Oleg Artemyev will launch the satellites, which would orbit for about 1.5 years.
June 12-17: A popular STEM event offered at 2022 Youth on the Air (YOTA) Region 2 Camp was launching high-altitude and mid-altitude balloons with radio payloads. The camp, held at the National Voice of America Museum in West Chester Township, OH, hosted 21 youth ages 14 to 25. ARISS educator Neil Rapp, leader of the week-long camp, reported, “Balloon #1 reached 97,000’. We tracked it, 30 miles away in a field, recovering it all, including a video camera and biology experiment. Balloon #2, with an APRS (Automatic Packet Reporting System) and WSPR (Weak Signal Propagation Reporter) beacon, was tracked hovering at 30,000’.” Students had engaged in hands-on lessons: how to build and protect ham radio payloads that transmit digital telemetry, attach ropes and lines, study weather issues for launch, and use telemetry to track the balloon’s progress and health.
June 15: Kjell Lindgren spent some of his leisure time this past week using ARISS’ InterOperable Radio System on the ISS to talk with ham operators on Earth. Then he decided to make radio contacts during the biggest annual on-the-air ham radio activity—ARRL Field Day—and at the last minute, announced this in a Tweet. Many hundreds of ham operators loved trying to hear him on the air, and his Tweet got 536 Likes. Amateur radio operators are some of the biggest fans of astronauts and space. Kjell generated a huge amount of goodwill and excitement.
ARISS Upcoming Events
July 9 Bauman Moscow State Technical University, Moscow, Russia, ARISS-Russia team