Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) - 07.15.14

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery
ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone Ever since the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) hardware was first launched aboard space shuttle Atlantis on STS-106 and transferred to ISS during Expedition 1, it has been regularly used to perform school contacts. With the help of Amateur Radio Clubs and ham radio operators, astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) have been speaking directly with large groups of the general public, showing teachers, students, parents, and communities how amateur radio energizes students about science, technology, and learning. The overall goal of ARISS is to get students interested in mathematics and science by allowing them to talk directly with the crews living and working aboard the ISS.

Science Results for Everyone

“WB4GCS, this is the International Space Station, NA1SS.” Thanks to an amateur radio program, thousands of students have heard a similar greeting from astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the space station. The program’s goal is to spark student interest in mathematics and science and inspire the next generation of explorers. Selected students learn about the station, radio waves, and other topics and prepare questions before their scheduled call. Hundreds more listen in from classrooms or auditoriums. Teachers report that the exceptional experience of talking with crewmembers in space “holds the power to inspire greatness” and “launches dreams.”
 

 



The following content was provided by Frank Bauer, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.

Experiment Details

OpNom

Principal Investigator(s)

  • Frank Bauer, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States

  • Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
  • Rosalie White, American Radio Relay League, Newington, CT, United States
  • Gaston Bertels, ARISS-International Working Group, Brussels, Belgium
  • Mark Steiner, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States

  • Developer(s)
    Johnson Space Center, Office of Education, Houston, TX, United States

    Sponsoring Space Agency
    National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

    Sponsoring Organization
    NASA Education (EDU)

    Research Benefits
    Information Pending

    ISS Expedition Duration
    November 2000 - March 2011

    Expeditions Assigned
    1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19/20,21/22,23/24,25/26

    Previous ISS Missions
    ARISS has been conducted on the ISS since Expedition 2 following the delivery of the ham radio to the ISS.

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    Experiment Description

    Research Overview

    • As the ISS passes over a school or over another location that receives a signal from Station and relays it on to the participating school, there is typically a 5 to 8-minute window for students to make contact with the crews aboard ISS.


    • In preparation, students research the ISS and learn about radio waves and amateur radio among other topics. Before their scheduled contact with the ISS, they prepare a list of questions on topics they have researched, many of which have to do with career choices and science activities aboard the ISS. Depending on the amount of time and complexity of the questions, from 10 - 20 questions can be asked during one of the sessions.


    • While typically only a handful of students can ask questions due to the limited time available, hundreds of other students usually are listening in to the school event from their school classrooms or auditorium, so that each of these events typically reaches hundreds of students.

    Description
    Ever since the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) hardware was first launched aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis on STS-106 and transferred to ISS, it has been regularly used education outreach. With the help of Amateur Radio Clubs and ham radio operators, astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) have been speaking directly with large groups of the general public, showing teachers, students, parents, and communities how amateur radio energizes students about science, technology, and learning. The overall goal of ARISS is to get students interested in mathematics and science by allowing them to talk directly with the crews living and working aboard the ISS.

    In preparation for a radio contact students research the ISS, learn about radio waves and amateur radio among other topics. Before their scheduled contact with the ISS, they prepare a list of questions on topics they have researched, many of which have to do with career choices and science activities aboard the ISS. Depending on the amount of time and complexity of the questions, between 10 - 20 questions can be asked during a single session. During the sessions, the ISS passes over a school or over another location that receives a signal from Station and relays it on to the participating school, there is typically a 5 to 8-minute window for students to make contact with the crews aboard ISS.

    While typically only a handful of students can ask questions due to the limited time available, hundreds of other students usually are listening in to the school event from their school classrooms or auditorium, so that each of these events typically reaches hundreds of students.

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    Applications

    Space Applications
    ARISS introduces the next generation of explorers to the environment of space.

    Earth Applications
    Using a new approach in the classroom on space flight, science, and mathematics will capture the imagination of students. Allowing students to participate in activities that directly involve space will inspire them to pursue careers in science and engineering.

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    Operations

    Operational Requirements
    The ISS ham radio is needed to successfully conduct an ARISS session. During the sessions the crewmembers answer questions from the students for approximately 10 minutes. These activities are scheduled as time is available from the crewmembers.

    Operational Protocols
    ARISS requires that the crew position themselves in front of the ISS ham radio equipment during each session.

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    Results/More Information

    ARISS has been instrumental in using amateur radio to connect teachers and students to the crew of the ISS sparking an interest in science and math for many students around the world. (Evans et al. 2009)

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    Results Publications

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    Ground Based Results Publications

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    ISS Patents

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    Related Publications

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    Related Websites
    Amateur Radio on the International Space Station

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    Imagery

    image Students attending Space Camp at the Euro Space Center in Belgium are gathered in an auditorium to speak with Astronaut Ed Lu, on board ISS during Expedition 7 in July 2003.
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    image NASA Image: ISS014E18307 - Astronaut Sunita L. Williams, Expeditions 14 and 15 Flight Engineer, talks with students at the International School of Brussels in Belgium during an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) in the Zvezda Service Module.
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    image Students attending Hanazono Elementary School in Akashi-city, Japan get together for an ARISS contact with Sunita Williams in February 2007. Image courtesy of Satoshi Yasuda, 7M3TJZ.
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    image Students from Western Albemarle High School in Crozet, Virginia speak with Frank Culbertson, KD5OPQ, during ARISS contact, September 2001 during ISS Expedition 3. Image courtesy ARISS.
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    image A student talks to a crewmember onboard the ISS during an ARISS contact. Image courtesy of ARISS.
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