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ISS Space Contact April 30, 2020
ISS Space Contact: Northern Virginia School Group, Woodbridge, Virginia, April 30, 2020. Click on image for YouTube video.

For immediate release:

April 28, 2020

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is pleased to announce the first use of a concept called Multipoint Telebridge Contact via Amateur Radio, allowing school contacts for Stay-At-Home students and simultaneous reception by families, school faculty and the public.

During the last several weeks, efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus have resulted in massive school closures worldwide. In addition, the Stay-At-Home policies invoked by authorities, initially shut down opportunities for ARISS school contacts for the near future.

To circumvent these challenges and keep students and the public safe, ARISS is introducing the Multipoint Telebridge Contact via Amateur Radio concept.

The first operation of this experimental system will occur tomorrow.

The first operation of this experimental system will occur tomorrow during a contact scheduled with a group of Northern Virginia Students located in Woodbridge, Virginia: Thursday, April 30 at 13:35 UTC (9:35 EDT).

During this event, an ARISS telebridge radio ground station will link to the astronaut on the International Space Station (ISS) Amateur Radio station and each Stay-At-Home student and their teacher will be individually linked to the telebridge station. Under the teacher’s direction, each student, from their home, takes a turn asking their question of the astronaut.

ARISS Chair Frank Bauer said:

“This approach is a huge pivot for ARISS, but we feel it is a great strategic move for ARISS. In these times of isolation due to the virus, these ARISS connections provide a fantastic psychological boost to students, families, educators and the public. And they continue our long-standing efforts to inspire, engage and educate student in STEAM subjects and encourage them to pursue STEAM careers.”

ARISS is inviting the public to view a live stream of the upcoming contact at its new ARISS YouTube Channel: https://youtu.be/Cu8I9ose4Vo.

During the contact, participants will ask as many of the following questions as time allows:

1. What does the sun look like from outer space?

2. How comfortable is it to sleep in space?

3. What is one thing you want to eat when you get back to Earth?

4. I’ve heard that stars are red, yellow and blue. Can you see those colours in space when you look at the stars?

5. Besides your family, what do you miss most while being in space?

6. What are your thoughts on our Covid-19 situation right now? Does the Earth look differently over the last 3 months now that many people are inside and not creating pollution?

7. How often do you get to go out of the ISS? Have you been on any space walks?

8. Who makes the rocket that takes you to the ISS?

9. What does it feel like to float all the time?

10. Do you use flashlights on space walks?

11. How do you exercise in space?

12. How do you get out for space walks safely without the air from the ISS coming out into space? How does it feel to walk in space?

13. What do you wear in the space station?

14. How did it feel when you first got to space?

15. How is space different from Earth?

16. What do you study in school to become an astronaut?

17. What do you like the most about being in space?

18. Were you nervous when you launched into space?

19. How do you communicate with loved ones while you are in space?

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.

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