Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) has firmed up the date for a contact between the ISS and the Mary Hare School for deaf children in the UK. It will take place on October 12 at 1112 UTC as a direct amateur radio contact between students at the Mary Hare School and astronaut Mark Vande Hei, KG5GNP, at NA1SS. Students will take turns asking their questions, with replies converted into text. The downlink frequency for this contact is 145.800 MHZ and may be heard by listeners within the ISS footprint at the time of the contact. The ground station will use GB4MHN.
This is believed to be the first ARISS contact between a school for deaf children and an astronaut on the ISS.
The Mary Hare School is an aural school for the deaf that teaches students to develop lip reading skills and to make use of technology. Student range in age from 5 through 19 years old. Some 250 individuals will be in the auditorium where the contact will take place, while another 600 students at other locations in the school will observe the contact via a web feed.
Leading up to the contact, students at the school learned about radio and space-related topics that touched on physics, chemistry and biology. Student activities have included designing and flying model rockets, making astronomical observations, and observing authentic spacesuits.
The ARISS-UK team is handling the technical aspects of the contact with members of the Newbury and District Amateur Radio Society (NADARS) providing students with the “amateur radio experience” through events and activities.
A livestream will be available.
On October 13 at 1339 UTC, Astronaut Thomas Pesquet, KG5FYG, will answer questions posed by students at the Ecole Louis Armand, Institut Universitaire de Technologie (IUT), and Collège Les Sables D’Or in France.
Amateur radio equipment has been on board the ISS for more than 20 years, and most astronauts hold ham radio licenses. A live web feed will be available.