Towson, Maryland – June 4, 2020
In late May, the USA team of the ARISS International working group became an incorporated non-profit entity in the state of Maryland, officially becoming ARISS-USA. This move allows ARISS-USA to work as an independent organization, soliciting grants and donations. They will continue promoting Amateur Radio and STEAM – science, technology, engineering, arts and math within educational organizations and inspire, engage and educate our next generation of space enthusiasts.
ARISS-USA will maintain its collaborative work with ARISS International as well as with US sponsors, partners, and interest groups. The main goal of ARISS-USA remains as connecting educational groups with opportunities to interact with astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
ARISS-USA will expand its human spaceflight opportunities with the space agencies, beyond low-Earth orbit, starting with lunar opportunities including the Lunar Gateway. ARISS-USA will continue to review and accept proposals for ISS contacts and expand its other educational opportunities to increase interest in space sciences and radio communications.
Becoming an independent organization has been discussed for quite some time. ARISS-USA lead Frank Bauer, KA3HDO said:
“The scope and reach of what ARISS accomplishes each year has grown significantly since its humble beginnings in 1996. Our working group status made it cumbersome to establish partnerships, sign agreements and solicit grants. These can only be done as an established organization.”
Bauer further elaborated:
“The ARISS-USA team remains deeply indebted to our working group partners – ARRL and AMSAT, who enabled the birth of ARISS – and our steadfast sponsors, NASA Space Communication and Navigation (SCaN) and the ISS National Lab (INL).”
ARISS-USA aims to keep earning high regards from all these partners and sponsors.
As ARISS-USA begins a new era as a human spaceflight Amateur Radio organization, it acknowledges those who were so instrumental in the formation of human spaceflight Amateur Radio. These include Vic Clark, W4KFC and Dave Sumner, K1ZZ, from the ARRL; Bill Tynan, W3XO and Tom Clark, W3IO, from AMSAT; Roy Neal, K6DUE, a major guide for SAREX and ARISS; and NASA astronaut Owen Garriott, W5LFL. Also remembered is Pam Mountjoy, NASA Education, who had the vision to develop the ARISS working group as a single Amateur Radio focus into the space agencies. All of these giants’ shoulders are what ARISS-USA rests upon.
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 ARISS Canada Team consists of the following volunteers:
- Wayne Harasimovitch, VE1WPH: East Coast Mentor
- Brian Jackson, VE6JBJ: Western Canada Mentor
- Steve McFarlane, VE3TBD: Central and Northern Canada Mentor
- Lori McFarlane (Teacher – Ottawa-Carleton District School Board)
- Claude Lacasse
- Steve Regan, VA3MGY
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.
Further information on the ARISS program is available on their website.
The primary purpose of ARISS is to organize scheduled contacts via Amateur Radio between crew members aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and classrooms or informal education venues.
With the help of experienced volunteers from Amateur Radio clubs and coordination from the ARISS team, the ISS crew members speak directly with large group audiences in a variety of public forums such as school assemblies, science centers and museums, Scout camporees, jamborees and space camps, where students, teachers, parents, and communities learn about space, space technologies and Amateur Radio.
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 below.