TADL Selected to Host Amateur Radio Contact with ISS

Traverse Area District Library Selected to Host Amateur Radio Contact with the International Space Station.


April 24, 2019 (Traverse City) – The Traverse Area District Library (TADL) is pleased to announce their selection by the ARISS-US Team (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) to host an amateur radio contact with International Space Station (ISS) crew members using the ARISS equipment on the ISS. This is a once in a lifetime experience made possible by the Amateur Radio community in cooperation with NASA.

While planning for the 2019 Summer Reading Club program last fall, TADL staff and administrators learned about the opportunity to submit a proposal to make radio contact with the ISS which aligned with this year’s reading program theme: A Universe of Stories. The TADL Summer Reading Club program is open to readers of all ages, infants to adults, and begins on June 17, 2019.

Proposals were submitted in late November 2018. A review team of teachers from the ARISS-US Education Committee selected proposals and TADL was among the thirteen schools or organizations, announced in early February 2019, to advance to the next stage of planning to host amateur radio contacts from July to December 2019. The final stage of planning was approved by ARISS in late March.

TADL is preliminarily scheduled to host the radio contact at the Main Library (Traverse City) location during the last week of June 24-30, 2019. Considering orbital constraints and ISS crew schedules, the final date and time of the radio contact will not be confirmed by NASA until one week ahead of the contact week. The radio contact will be approximately 10 minutes in length due to the radio communication window permitted by the logistics of orbital passes of the ISS. The radio contact will be supported by TADL Information Technology staff, members of the local Cherryland Amateur Radio Club (CARC), and ARISS mentors.

In preparation for the radio contact with the crew on the ISS, TADL is holding an Ask an Astronaut contest. Children, teens, and adults are invited to submit an entry form indicating what question they would like to ask an astronaut and why they want to ask that question. Questions should focus on applying science, technology, engineering and math in space research. Submissions begin on Monday, May 6 and close on May 22. The top questions, as selected by library staff, will be announced in late May. Students will be selected to interact directly with astronauts and cosmonauts during the radio communication window using a question and answer format at the June event. Stop by any TADL location, or visit the website: tadl.org , beginning Monday, May 6, to learn more.



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 or public forums. Before and during these radio contacts, students, educators, parents, and communities learn about space, space technologies, and amateur radio. For more information, see www.ariss.org.


What is Amateur Radio?

Amateur, or “Ham,” Radio, is a popular service and hobby in which federally licensed participants operate communication equipment. There are over 700,000 licensed amateurs and nearly 2,300 ARRL-affiliated Amateur Radio clubs in the United States. Hams talk to each other across town, around the world, and even into space without the need for normal communications infrastructure, such as cell phone networks or the Internet. Amateur Radio is regularly used during natural disasters to help local emergency and service agencies (such as the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and state and local governments) respond when normal communication methods are disrupted. The Amateur Radio community is a great source of electronics experimentation, public service, and fun. Learn more about local amateur radio with the Cherryland Amateur Radio Club http://cherrylandarc.com/