A scheduled ARISS contact is a voice-only communication via Amateur Radio between the International Space Station (ISS) crew and classrooms and communities. ARISS contacts allow education audiences to learn firsthand from astronauts what it is like to work and live in space. These scheduled contact opportunities are offered to formal and informal education institutions and organizations, individually or working together. The radio contacts are approximately 10 minutes in length due to the radio communication window permitted by the logistics of orbital passes of the ISS. During the contact, students interact directly with astronauts and cosmonauts during this communication window using a question and answer format.

Proposal Form and Proposal Guide

ARISS Proposal Form 

US schools and educational organizations may download the ARISS Proposal Form to submit a proposal to host an ARISS contact.  Use this form to submit the details of your education and outreach plan.  Information about the ARISS Proposal can be found below.

ARISS Proposal Guide

A Proposal Guide is offered to help you plan and identify the resources you will need to host an ARISS scheduled contact.

After reading the Guide and developing your plan, you can complete the ARISS Proposal Form and submit it during the proposal window.

Download the current version of the Proposal Guide (Fall 2021)

ARISS Proposal Requirements

To maximize these radio contacts, the ARISS program looks for organizations that will draw large numbers of participants and integrate the radio contact into a well-developed education plan. Because of the nature of human spaceflight and the complexity of scheduling activities aboard the ISS, organizations must demonstrate flexibility to accommodate changes in contact dates and times.

Educational proposals should include plans for students to:

    • study topics related to space technology, space exploration, or space research, and,
    • learn about communication, wireless technology, and radio science

Educational proposals are evaluated based on:

  • the ability to integrate space and communication concepts into the curriculum
  • how an ARISS contact will enhance the curriculum and experiences in the school or organization
  • flexibility of the school or organization
  • potential audience size
  • community connections (ham radio groups or other community members who could be of assistance)

Some considerations are also made for more diverse populations, and those organizations with higher impact on those typically considered under-represented in STEM fields.  

The more advance preparation educators make with educational plans, the more learning and value the ARISS event will have for students.  Imagine your students interviewing an astronaut in space, maybe even using an antenna your students have assembled! 

The more advance preparation educators make with educational plans, the more learning and value the ARISS event will have for students.  Imagine your students interviewing an astronaut in space, maybe even using an antenna your students have assembled!  

Proposal Timeline and Support

The Proposal Window

Proposals from schools and organizations in the US are accepted during two proposal windows each year – one in the fall and one in the spring. Proposals are not accepted outside of the scheduled proposal windows.  However, the proposal form is often quite similar for each window and can be downloaded and populated in preparation for the next window of opportunity.  The Fall 2021 proposal window opens October 1 for contacts to be scheduled from July 1, 2022 – December 31, 2022. This proposal is due to ARISS by November 24, 2021 at 11:59 PM Pacific Time.

Upcoming Proposal Webinars

In order to help organizations prepare proposals, the ARISS program offers online Proposal webinars during each of the two proposal windows. These webinars are an hour in length and are designed to provide more information regarding US ARISS contacts and the proposal process, as well as provide an avenue for interested organizations to ask questions. Attending an online Proposal Webinar is not required but is strongly encouraged.

A Proposal Webinar is being offered in order for you to ask questions about the program and proposal on Thursday, October 7, 2021 at 8 pm ET. Visit: https://ariss-proposal-webinar-fall-2021.eventbrite.com to register.

Outside of this opportunity, a recording of a previous Proposal Webinar information can be located on our ARISS YouTube channel at any time: 2021 02 25 17 00 Introductory Webinar 20210225

The ARISS Proposal Process

Following is the sequence of steps involved in the proposal and selection process.

  • Interested organizations in the US should review the Proposal Form and the Proposal Guide which outline the expectations and preparations for a proposal.
  • Organizations participate in an online information session, typically advertised when the proposal window is announced.
  • Organizations reach out to local educational partners and local Radio Amateurs to develop and submit a proposal using the current proposal form. 
  • A committee of ARISS education members evaluate and approve proposals.
  • 6 to 8 weeks after the close of the proposal window, organizations with approved proposals are sent a congratulatory email.  Declination emails are also sent out at that time.  
  • Selected organizations participate in an ARISS Orientation Session and are paired with an ARISS Technical Mentor –  who will help them develop an Equipment Plan – and an ARISS Educational Ambassador – who will help with any Educational concerns. 
  • After the Equipment Plan is approved, the organization initiates their Education Plan, and preparations for the contact get underway 

If you have questions regarding the proposal process, please send an email to:  ariss.us.education@gmail.com