Image of poster for the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station program .

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is a cooperative venture of the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the United States and other international space agencies and international Amateur Radio organizations around the world including Radio Amateurs of Canada.

The primary goal of ARISS is to promote exploration of science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics topics. ARISS offers an opportunity for students to experience the excitement of Amateur Radio by talking directly with crew members onboard the International Space Station. Teachers, parents and communities see, firsthand, how Amateur Radio and crew members on the International Space Station can energize youth and instill an interest in science, technology, and learning.

Before and during these radio contacts, students, educators, parents, and communities take part in hands-on learning activities tied to space, space technologies, and Amateur Radio.

Amateur Radio offers a unique opportunity to communicate with those in space. Through the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program, schools and youth and community groups have an opportunity to make an arranged contact with astronauts and cosmonauts onboard the ISS. The groups on the Earth typically have approximately 10 minutes – the time that it takes the ISS to pass from horizon to horizon – to ask questions of astronauts in space.

Groups can make a scheduled contact with the ISS either directly, using satellite-capable radio systems, or via a telebridge system which allows a group to use a telephone system to connect to one of the various ground stations around the world which will then bring the radio signal from space.

Further information on the ARISS program is available on their website.

Amateur Radio Provides “Out of this World Opportunities”…

December 16, 2022 – Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS)  completed a successful ARISS radio contact between Astronaut Josh Cassada, KI5CRH, aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and Youth Members of the Maitland Air Cadet Squadron located in Goderich, Ontario.

ARISS conducts 60-80 of these special Amateur Radio contacts each year between students around the globe and crew members with Amateur Radio licenses aboard the ISS.

The Maitland Air Cadet Association supports the activities of the local air cadet squadron and provides enhanced support to the Air Cadet squadron. Maitland Air Cadet Squadron is a joint effort by the Department of National Defence, the Air Cadet League of Canada and the Royal Canadian Legion branch 109 in Goderich, Ontario.

The aims of the Air Cadet program are: to develop in youth the attributes of good citizenship and leadership; to promote physical fitness; to stimulate an interest in the air element of Canadian Forces. Educational activities in preparation for this ARISS contact involves cadets designing/building VHF antennas, tracking the ISS and decoding ISS-APRS messages.

Basic Qualification Amateur Radio courses for all cadet levels are being offered, giving them the opportunity to become a certified Amateur Radio operator.

RAC Youth Education Program

The RAC Youth Education Program (YEP) provides teachers, youth and community leaders with an innovative way of learning by introducing them to the wonderful world of Amateur Radio. It provides financial and personal support to teachers in schools and leaders in community youth groups. Teachers who wish to include an element of radio technology in their programs will be eligible for assistance in acquiring the necessary equipment, books and other resources.

For more information, please visit