August 21-22: The ARRL Southeastern Division Convention, also called Huntsville (AL) Hamfest, garnered 4,000 attendees and 3 of the ARISS team were there. Frank Bauer, Kathy Lamont and Dave Jordan, undertook the first ARISS travel since Covid issues began. They supported an ARISS exhibit and forum. They explained the ARISS program to 290 people stopping at the booth. These visitors were drawn in by a working model of the ARISS InterOperable Radio System and the ARISS Radio Experimenters Kit being beta-tested by several US schools. ARISS volunteer Ruth Willet visited the booth and while there, became an impromptu presenter in an on-scene action video done by an ARRL staffer. He panned the ARISS radio system while Ruth glowingly described her experiences at an ARISS contact. ARRL ran convention stories the next day for its web site and The ARRL Letter (107,000 subscribers), featuring an ARISS photo and the video’s URL. In 6 days, 1,030 people viewed the video. ARISS’s booth adjoined the ARRL and AMSAT booths (both, ARISS sponsors) making for fruitful chats. Kathy and Frank presented at the ARISS Forum to 24 listeners; some were educators. The two gave an overview of ARISS, details on current and future ARISS STEAM education (ARISS balloon launches, ARISS Experimenters Radio Kit, new student mission control and robotics activities), and current and future on-orbit space hardware capabilities, development, and operations.
August 26-27: The Savannah River Academy (SRA) in Grovetown, GA will sponsor an ARISS contact in late 2021. Last semester, students engaged in STEAM projects led by Rachel Samples Jones, an area research scientist and ham operator, with help from the area ham club. Fall semester has opened with SRA Parents Night and Rachel presented an ARISS program on previous and upcoming education activities. Amateur radio club members had set up an ARISS exhibit table for parents. Two SRA teachers who will help lead SRA’s ARISS project were introduced—in July they took part in ARRL’s four-day professional development workshop on wireless in the classroom. The day after SRA Parents Night, the students’ ARISS lessons began.
August 23: Students at Carl Fuhlrott Gymnasium in Wuppertal, Germany made an ARISS radio contact with Akihiko Hoshide on the ISS. He answered 17 student questions while 296 social-distanced youth and educators watched in the school’s two largest rooms—students asking questions were in one room and the livestream was shown in the other. The contact enjoyed good media coverage from: Ronsdorfer Nachrichten, Westdeutsche Zeitung, Cronenberger Woche, Cronenberger Rundschau, and Radio Wuppertal, and the latter aired live portions of the radio contact. The school’s YouTube had 165 live views and a week later, 605 views; the URL is (start at 41 minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKTdcM6iWSE. A second video on student STEM activities tied to ARISS garnered 368 views. The school touts its STEM curriculum, especially the astronomy classes’ six telescopes and collaboration with Bergische Universität to train students and teachers. Extracurricular activities are radio astronomy, launching and radio tracking of high-altitude balloon flights, and an amateur radio station that has software defined radio, Raspberry Pi and Arduino.
Sep 18 Notre Dame Jogakuin Jr Sr High School, Kyoto, Japan ARISS contact ARISS-Japan team
Sep 24 SPDW Voortrekker Movement, Oranjeville, S. Africa ARISS contact ARISS Europe team