Fourteen of the schools and organizations that submitted proposals to host Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contacts are moving into the final stage of the selection process. Schools or organizations ultimately selected would host scheduled Amateur Radio contacts with an ISS crew member during the first half of 2016.
“This is a significant step in ARISS’s continuing effort to engage young people in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) activities and raise their awareness of space exploration, space communications and related areas of study and career possibilities,” said ARRL Education Services Manager Debra Johnson, K1DMJ.
AMSAT and ARRL — the ARISS US managing partners — announced the semifinalists on May 28. They now must complete acceptable equipment plans that demonstrate their ability to execute the ham radio contacts. Once the ARISS technical team approves an equipment plan, ARISS and NASA will work with the school or organization to schedule a contact, based on the host’s availability and flexibility to take advantage of the available opportunities.
The schools and organizations are:
- All Saints STEAM Academy, Middletown, Rhode Island
- Atlanta Science Festival, Atlanta, Georgia
- Booker T. Washington Senior High, Miami, Florida
- Christ the King School, Rutland, Vermont
- Cradle of Aviation Museum and Education Center, Garden City, New York
- Frederick W. Harnett Middle School, Blackstone, Massachusetts
- National Soaring Museum, Elmira, New York
- National Urban Alliance for Effective Education, Syosset, New York
- North Dakota Space Grant Consortium, Grand Forks, North Dakota
- Science Museum of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia
- STEM Trajectory Initiative with Albuquerque Public Schools, Albuquerque New Mexico
- Stephen F. Austin Elementary School, Jones Creek, Texas
- University of Alabama in Huntsville Space Hardware Club, Huntsville, Alabama
- Walter Jackson Elementary, Decatur, Alabama
No school or organization in North Dakota, Rhode Island, or Vermont has ever hosted an ARISS contact.
ARISS is a cooperative venture of the AMSAT, ARRL, and NASA, and other space agencies and Amateur Radio organizations around the world. Its primary educational mission is to organize scheduled contacts via Amateur Radio between ISS crew members and classrooms or informal education venues.