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By Desert Messenger, Quartzsite, AZ
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International Space Station Contact for La Paz County Youth Jan. 11, 2017

Friday, January 6, 2017 16:47
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International Space Station Contact with youth in Quarzsite is scheduled for Wednesday, January 11, 2017. The contact will be first thing in the morning at 9:10am  in the morning. Students should arrive as early as possible. There will still have informational stations, presentations, awards and lunch, so the event will run until about 12:45pm.

Event will be held at Quartzsite Improvement Association (QIA) 
at 235 W. Ironwood, Quartzsite.

Ever since the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station, or ARISS, hardware was first launched aboard space shuttle Atlantis on STS-106 and transferred to the space station for use by its first crew, it has been used regularly to perform school contacts. With the help of amateur radio clubs and ham radio operators, astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the station have been speaking directly with large groups of people, 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 station.

The ARISS conversations usually last for about 10 minutes. During that time, chosen students on the ground ask a preselected set of questions, which the crew answers from aboard the space station.

In order for ARISS to work, the station must pass over the Earth-bound communicators during amateur radio transmissions to relay signals between the station’s ham radio and ground receivers. Other issues, such as weather and crew availability, also factor into the timing of the transmissions. During this pass, an average of 18 questions can be answered, depending on the complexity of the query. To date, the space station has held more than 600 ARISS sessions with students around the world.
On December 14th, 2016 the United States Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program including National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), American Society for the Alexander Technique (AMSAT) and the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) accepted our communities’ joint proposal for youth from seven towns in La Paz County to make a radio contact to speak with astronauts onboard the International Space Station (ISS) next week!  The towns include Quartzsite, Ehrenberg, Bouse, Brenda, Hope, Wenden and Salome, AZ.

This program created opportunity for youngsters to explore the many wonders and possibilities that exist in radio science, amateur radio and space research, delivering fun and engaging learning opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and work hand-in-hand with local schools, communities, families and amateur radio clubs to create new opportunities to inspire and lift our youth up.

Students, teachers, supporters and the community are invited to share in being part of listening to students from across the county,  chosen by their schools,  to speak via radio with the Astronauts on the International Space Station.

“It has been amazing year; we have had had wonderful success and outreach. We are so grateful for all the support received. It has been truly a county effort in making this program such a success,” said Heather Caton of My La Paz dot org.

Please visit for further details as they develop. 

To learn more about the NASA program visit: 


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