I get just as excited as my kids when I receive any communications from the International Space Station. This past week, we fit an ARISS contact fit into our hectic schedule during lunch break. I gave both of my kids a handheld radio and we all listened together as the ISS passed overhead.
Right on schedule, we heard NA1SS, but it sounded like they were struggling to make contact with KD2IFR at the Central Islip Union Free School District in Central Islip, NY.
I made a short video about one minute into the scheduled contact. I believe both parties were forced to move to their backup channel because we never heard an exchange–only NA1SS calling KD2IFR:
Still…we heard an astronaut live, so mission accomplished!
SWLing Post contributor, Mark Hirst, had much better luck last week monitoring an ARISS contact with King’s High School in Warwick, UK. Check out his excellent video:
Thanks for posting that video, Mark. By the way, I love your FT-817ND setup!
In fact, the King’s High School ARISS contact snagged some excellent publicity via the BBC. Here’s an article via the Southgate ARC:
King’s High School ARISS contact on BBC TV
On April 19 student Eleanor Griffin led the live question and answer session between King’s High School (GB4KHS) and astronaut Ricky Arnold KE5DAU on the International Space Station (OR4ISS)
King’s High School strongly encourage their girls to develop their interests both inside and outside the classroom. This culture of empowerment led one of their girls to apply to ARISS Europe (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) for a highly prestigious link-up to the International Space Station.
When Eleanor Griffin was selected to hold a space conversation with an astronaut, she was inspired to set up the Warwick Mars Project, for students across the Warwick Independent Schools Foundation, to further interest in Space Science. Eleanor says: “The moon landings belong to the generation of our grandparents, and the International Space Station to our parents. What will happen in our generation? Will Mankind travel to another planet?”
When asked what the incredible experience of the ISS contact had taught her Eleanor replied “Just do it! No one is going to stop you, if you just go and pursue your dreams, you really can do anything.”
Watch the BBC TV news item broadcast on Midlands Today @bbcmtd. Fast forward to 18:45 into the recording at
King’s High School Warwick
If you missed these ARISS contacts, no worries! Check out the ARISS “Upcoming Contacts” page where future ARISS QSOs are listed. ARISS contacts are a great opportunity to show kids of all ages what you can hear with even a modest radio!