The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program is seeking proposals from schools and formal or informal educational institutions and organizations — individually or working in concert — to host Amateur Radio contacts next year with ISS crew members. The window to submit a proposal is April 15. ARISS anticipates that contacts will take place between January 1 and June 30, 2018. Crew scheduling and ISS orbits will determine the exact contact dates. Proposal information and documents are on the ARRL website.
To maximize these radio contact opportunities, ARISS seeks proposals from schools and organizations that can draw large numbers of participants and integrate the contact into a well-developed education plan. Each FM-voice contact lasts about 10 minutes — the length of a typical overhead ISS pass from horizon to horizon.
Scheduled ham radio contacts with ISS crew members allow students to interact with an astronaut or cosmonaut through a question-and-answer format. Participants and the audiences alike can learn firsthand from the astronaut or cosmonaut what it’s like to live and work in space and to learn about space research on the ISS. Students will be able to observe and learn about satellite communication, wireless technology, and radio science.
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.
To help organizations prepare proposals, ARISS offers 1-hour online information sessions, designed to provide more information regarding US ARISS contacts and the proposal process, as well as provide an avenue for interested organizations to ask questions. Attending an online Information Session is not required but is strongly encouraged.
Information Sessions for the current application window will take place on Monday, March 6, at 7 PM EST (0000 UTC on March 7) and Tuesday, March 16, at 4 PM EDT (2000 UTC). Contact ARISS to sign up and take part.
Amateur Radio organizations around the world, NASA, and space agencies in Russia, Canada, Japan, and Europe sponsor these educational opportunities 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, ARISS is a collaborative effort between ARRL and AMSAT, in partnership with NASA and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS).
Contact ARISS for more information.