December 15: The Oregon Charter Academy in Mill City, OR, held its ARISS radio contact for students to talk to Shannon Walker. She answered 20 of their questions. Students at home were connected to the radio contact through ARISS Multi-point Telebridge Via Amateur Radio. ARISS’s volunteer at his ham station in Queensland, Australia relayed the audio between Walker at the ISS ham station and students. Over 2,000 of the school’s youth viewed the event live and had been studying communications and lessons on space from Space Center Houston for many weeks. KPTV-23 in Portland ran a story during its news broadcast and KGW-TV featured the radio contact in a news clip and an online article. KYAC FM broadcasted the live audio feed, and the online SpaceRef included a short piece in its daily status report on NASA. The ARISS YouTube Channel posted the school’s video of the contact. The KGW-TV link is: https://www.kgw.com/article/news/education/oregon-charter-academy-students-interview-nasa-astronaut-on-international-space-station/283-73bed430-aac5-45a4-b575-bcd0e4421107
December 24-31: An ARISS Slow Scan TV (SSTV) session celebrated ARISS’s 20 years of successes through having cosmonauts downlink 12 different images from ARISS’s history files. The first day of the session caused ARISS to reach a 100K milestone: as images were posted at the online ARISS SSTV Gallery (http://www.spaceflightsoftware.com/ARISS/SSTV/) the total of all images posted since the first-ever SSTV session surpassed 100,000! People who are space enthusiasts, students, educators, and hams find these sessions to be great fun, downloading images with a ham radio or phone app to store on smartphones or computers before posting to the Gallery. The ARISS team will know soon the final count of participants and downloaded images during this session. Two quotes that enthralled youth participants sent are: A) My first SSTV image. I’m 13 years old. B) I’m 17 years old and the youngest private pilot license holder from India. I’m an amateur radio enthusiast.
December 23: The ARISS program was featured in an article in the Los Angeles Times. The article led with the excitement of having ham radio onboard the ISS from the astronaut’s point of view. Doug Wheelock said he quickly saw ARISS as a conduit to companionship with regular people on earth, “It allowed me to…just reach out to humanity down there…. It became my emotional, and a really visceral, connection to the planet.” The writer interviewed and quoted Kenneth Ransom, Rosalie White, and other ARISS volunteers on ARISS’s many aspects including among other things, schools and what the average person of various ages thinks of ARISS contacts. The link to the article is: https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2020-12-23/ham-radio-and-astronauts Many media outlets picked up the article, including MSN, Yahoo News, Reddit, Physics Everywhere, Vectors Journal, American Institute of Physics (at phys.org), Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette, the Dubuque Iowa’s Telegraph-Herald, and various outlets specializing in space news.
December 15: In the last report, the Tecumseh High School’s ARISS contact of December 4 was described. Since then, the lead educator has tracked the views of the video of the contact on the school Facebook page and three other web sites. The total views reached 10,000. He reported that this number didn’t include views of stories run on area TV stations and in area newspapers.
ARISS Social Media
Facebook in December 2020
*Also, the total of the Best Reach number and the Best Likes number for October through December nearly doubled over the previous quarter.
Twitter: As of December 31, 2020, ARISS Twitter followers totaled 14,180, a gain of 381 over November.
Instagram: As of December 31, 2020, Instagram followers increased to 224 from November.
YouTube Members: As of December 31, 2020, there are 820 YouTube members.
January 6: The Oswaldo Guayasamín School of Basic Education in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island, Ecuador has been scheduled for an ARISS contact with Victor Glover. Eighteen schools on four of the Galapagos Islands have been studying space and the environment with the Puerto Ayora school and will listen to the contact online.
January 13: An ARISS radio contact has been scheduled for Shigagakuen Junior & Senior High School in Higashioumi, Japan. Shannon Walker will support the radio contact.