JFK High School EngineeringConnect department recently announced that John F Kennedy High School has been selected to host an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) radio contact with the International Space Station in November of the 20-21 school year. JFK High School is 1 of 10 schools in the nation selected for this opportunity.
ARISS is announcing a second test of its new distance-learning ARISS radio contacts with astronauts. This will be the second test of the new-style radio contact, called Multipoint Telebridge Contact via Amateur Radio. The concept was developed for distance learning when schools closed worldwide due to COVID-19. The virus eliminated all opportunities for ARISS radio contacts at education organizations. A new ARISS telebridge radio ground station will be used this time, this operated by John Sygo, amateur radio call sign ZS6JON, near Johannesburg, South Africa.
The new concept requires three things. The ARISS telebridge radio ground station–a satellite ham radio station with special equipment that an ARISS team member uses for teleconferencing, the ham astronaut on the ISS using the ARISS ham radio station, and students at their homes. The telebridge radio operator links to the astronaut at the ARISS radio mic, and each youth ties in from home via their telephones. Their families can listen along with faculty and the public from home. Each student takes a turn asking their question of the astronaut.
The youth taking part in ARISS’s second test belong to the Airdrie Space Science Club in Airdrie, AB, Canada The radio contact is scheduled for May 15 at 15:10 UTC (9:10 AM MST). ISS Commander Chris Cassidy, amateur radio call sign KF5KDR, will support the ARISS radio contact. This is the same astronaut that our Commanders are supposed to make contact with in November!
Prior to COVID, the students had participated in space and radio communications lessons such as balloon launches with ham radio payloads and building model rockets to launch. Brian Jackson, amateur radio call sign VE6JBJ, is one of the five club leaders. He related, “During this pandemic, our opportunities to develop kids’ interest in space has been interrupted. This ARISS contact gets them looking back up, towards the sky, and imagining themselves as an astronaut one day.”
ARISS and the JFK High School EngineeringConnect department invites the public to view the livestream of the upcoming ARISS radio test at: https://youtu.be/2mflSlShPHA.