ISS Astronaut’s QSO With California Middle School Students

An astronaut on the International Space Station answered questions via ham radio from students at the Mendez Fundamental Intermediate School in Santa Ana on September 6th.   The approximately 9 minute QSO took place between the Space Station-NA1SS and AA6TB. The astronaut’s comments could be heard in the Conejo Valley and across the state on 145.80 MHz downlink.

The students planned to ask as many of the following questions as time allowed:

  1. How is using a ham radio on the ISS different than operating one on Earth?
  2. I was wondering if any of the current crew members are artists and if yes, how is it different from doing art on Earth?
  3. How is it determined which astronaut conducts which experiments and can you choose which experiments to work on?
  4. How does your research on salmonella in microgravity relate to life on Earth?
  5. What do you do during your free time and how much free time do you have?
  6. How do you deal with the lack of privacy on the ISS?
  7. What is something you forgot to bring or wish you’d brought with you on this mission?
  8. I’m always losing stuff. Have you ever lost something on the Space Station?
  9. How has your time living on the ISS affected the way you live on Earth?
  10. I want to be an astronaut when I grow up. What advice can you give me?
  11. What is the thing you miss most while on the Space Station?
  12. Our school sent up a student space flights experiment in 2016. Are you currently working on any student experiments?
  13. How has your time in microgravity affected your coordination and vision? Have you noticed any lasting changes?
  14. Do you ever get to contact your family? If yes, how?
  15. What has been your biggest “AH HA!” moment? (What has surprised you the most?)
  16. How did teaching in a classroom prepare you for doing science on the ISS?
  17. How do your eyes adjust to the constant change from daylight to darkness as you circle the Earth?
  18. Will you continue your exercise regime when you get back to Earth?
  19. Do you ever feel nauseous when you are in space? What do you do if you get sick?
  20. When you are sleeping on the ISS, what do you hear?

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is a cooperative venture of international amateur radio societies and the space agencies that support the International Space Station (ISS). In the United States, sponsors are the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The primary goal of ARISS is to promote exploration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) topics by organizing scheduled contacts via amateur radio between crew members aboard the ISS and students in classrooms.

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