Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is inviting proposals from schools, educational organizations, and groups that are willing and able to host an Amateur Radio contact with an International Space Station crew member. The window for formal and informal proposals will be open from September 1 until November 1, 2015. ARISS anticipates that the contacts will be scheduled between July 1 and December 31, 2016. Crew schedules and ISS orbits determine exact contact dates.
To maximize these radio contact opportunities, ARISS is looking for organizations that will a draw large number of participants and integrate the contact into a well-developed education plan. Because of the nature of human spaceflight and the complexity of scheduling activities aboard the ISS, organizations must demonstrate flexibility to accommodate changes in contact dates and times.
Full information on hosting an ARISS contact is available on the ARRL website.
To help organizations in preparing their proposals, the ARISS Program Coordinator will offer hour-long online information sessions. These are designed to provide more information regarding US ARISS contacts and the proposal process and offer an opportunity to ask questions. While attending an online information session is not required, it is strongly encouraged.
These will be offered Thursday, September 17, at 2000 UTC; Tuesday, September 22, at 2000 UTC, and Wednesday, September 30, at 2300 UTC. Advance registration is necessary. E-mail ARISS to sign up for an information session.
ISS crew members will participate in scheduled Amateur Radio contacts, which last about 10 minutes, and allow students and educators to interact with the astronauts in a question-and-answer format. An ARISS contact is a voice-only communication opportunity via Amateur Radio between astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the space station and classrooms and communities. ARISS contacts afford education audiences the opportunity to learn firsthand from astronauts what it is like to live and work in space and to learn about space research conducted on the ISS. Students also will have an opportunity to learn about satellite communication, wireless technology, and radio science.
Amateur Radio organizations around the world, NASA, and space agencies in Russia, Canada, Japan, and Europe sponsor this educational opportunity by providing the equipment and operational support to enable direct communication between crew on the ISS and students around the world via Amateur Radio. In the US, the program is managed by ARRL and AMSAT in partnership with NASA.