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Date: Wednesday, March 27 | Time: 16:25:27 UTC 89 deg | Livestream available at: 

Telebridge via ON4ISS | Astronaut Loral O’Hara, KI5TOM
Astronauts Loral O'Hara and Jasmin Moghbeli give a thumbs up
Astronauts Loral O'Hara and Jasmin Moghbeli give a thumbs up

ARIn a nod to history and a leap into the future, Amateur Radio operators Lillian Fidler, VO1XYL and Jim Fidler, VO1RV, are spearheading a remarkable event that will connect Grade 9 students in St. John’s, Newfoundland, with an astronaut aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

With Newfoundland’s rich history in telecommunications, notably marked by Marconi’s reception of the first wireless telecommunication over 100 years ago, this event holds special significance. Marconi famously received the letter “S” in Morse code on Signal Hill in St. John’s, paving the way for future advancements in communication technology.

Now, with the assistance of the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program – which aims to inspire students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through direct communication with ISS crew members – students in St. John’s will have the opportunity to engage in a live QSO (conversation) with an astronaut orbiting Earth aboard the ISS. The scheduled crew member for this event is Loral O’Hara KI5TOM, who is the Flight Engineer for Expedition 70. The ARISS Moderator is Steve McFarlane, VE3TBD.

Event Information:

Event Details:

Date: Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Time: 16:25:27 UTC 89 deg

Telebridge via ON4ISS (Loral O’Hara KI5TOM)

Livestream: https://youtu.be/5vaRy3vx61M

The Hosts:

Lillian and Jim Fidler are excited to facilitate this unique opportunity for Grade 9 students, bridging the past and the future of telecommunications right in St. John’s, Newfoundland. While Marconi received the letter ‘S’, Lillian and Jim will be engaging in two-way communications with the ‘ISS’.

Special Guest Dr. Tamitha Skov (Space Weather Woman) will join us to share exciting insights into the weather event happening on that day.

Learn about Amateur Radio and the technology that brings this all together, from the ground station in Belgium to the ISS.

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.

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.

ARISS’s mandate aligns perfectly with the educational objectives of this event, as it seeks to spark interest in radio science technology and encourage students to explore STEM fields through hands-on experiences like this one.

Further information on the ARISS program is available in the video provided below and on the ARISS webpage.

List of Questions by Students

  1. Leary’s Brook Junior High AC: Can you describe what Earth looks like from your view?
  2. St. Paul’s Junior High SW: Did you learn anything in Junior High that is useful to your life as an astronaut?
  3. St. Paul’s Junior High TK: What training do you receive to respond to a serious injury or illness while in space?
  4. St. Paul’s Junior High SK: What kinds of experiments are being carried out on board the ISS these days?
  5. Mount Pearl Intermediate: How long did it take to become an astronaut? What was your path/education that led to this career?
  6. Amalgamated Academy: Does being on the ISS give you the same feeling as pulling out of your driveway to go on a trip, or is there a different sense of homesickness?
  7. Leary’s Brook Junior High AC: Do you believe there could be life on another planet?
  8. St. Paul’s Junior High SW: Is there anything that surprised you about space?
  9. St. Paul’s Junior High TK: During your journey to and from space, do you prefer ascending into space or descending back to Earth?
  10. St. Paul’s Junior High SK: How do you keep a daily routine without a single sunrise/sunset?
  11. Mount Pearl Intermediate: What is the travel time to the space station?
  12. Amalgamated Academy: How does being on the ISS change your appreciation for planet Earth?
  13. Leary’s Brook Junior High AC: How do you use the bathroom in space?
  14. St. Paul’s Junior High SW: What advice do you have for students who are interested in pursuing space science as a potential career?
  15. St. Paul’s Junior High TK: How does the ISS protect itself from space debris?
  16. Amalgamated Academy: Does your physical view and perspective on space change while you are on station?
  17. Mount Pearl Intermediate: How many people are in the space station right now? How big is the station itself?
YouTube video of ARISS contact with Airdrie Science Space Camp
YouTube video of ARISS contact with Airdrie Science Space Camp

ARISS Video by Denis Rule, VE3BF: To see what ARISS is all about please see the excellent YouTube video by Denis Rule, VE3BF, which is provided above. The video provides highlights of astronaut Paolo Nespoli, IZ0JPA, onboard the International Space Station, answering questions from students at Huntley Centennial Public School in Carp, Ontario on November 28, 2017 before the global pandemic made assemblies impossible. This contact was made possible by volunteer Amateur Radio operators.