Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is a volunteer program that inspires students worldwide to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math through amateur radio contacts with the ISS. It culminates in the unforgettable experience of talking with an astronaut! ARISS provides opportunities for students, teachers, families and community members to become more aware of the discoveries and benefits of human spaceflight.
Through ARISS, educational institutions and groups can apply for scheduled contacts between their students and an ISS crew member who holds an amateur radio license. Scheduled ARISS Amateur Radio contacts with the ISS are conducted by either direct contact or telebridge contact. The method depends on the radio station’s equipment, the expertise of available volunteers, and technical issues related to Station’s orbit over the contact location.
ARISS was created by an international consortium of amateur radio organizations led by AMSAT (Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation) with support from space agencies NASA, Roscosmos, CSA, JAXA, and ESA. ARISS is managed by an international working group and run by volunteers in the participating nations. The volunteers belong to national amateur radio organizations and AMSAT organizations in each country.
Goals of the ARISS Program:
- Inspire interests in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects and careers among young people
- Provide educational opportunities for students, teachers and the public to learn about space exploration, space technologies, and satellite communications
- Provide educational opportunities for students, teachers and the public to learn about wireless technology and radio science through Amateur Radio
- Support installation and testing of new technologies and techniques in Amateur Radio
- Provide a contingency communications system for NASA and the ISS crew
- Provide a way for ISS crew members to interact directly with a larger community outside the ISS, including friends and family