[sarex] Re: [ARISS-press] Upcoming ARISS contact with Chanute Air Museum, ...

AJ9N at aol.com AJ9N at aol.com
Wed Aug 19 22:31:03 PDT 2009


I am little confused by your  question.  If you are talking about a 
schedule ARISS contact, like the  scouts did at Chanute, then my comments just 
below apply.  If you are  talking about general contacts, like JOTA, then look 
further down.

For  scheduled ARISS contacts:
For any school, scout group, museum, etc., the kids  ask the questions.  If 
there is time and if all of the questions have been  asked, then sometimes 
one of the teachers may ask a question.  Keep in mind  that the ARISS 
contacts are for the students and not for the adults or hams  involved.

Since the contact time is very limited (about 10 minutes max;  usually 
around 9 minutes), we suggest somewhere between 12 and 16 students be  lined up; 
each with 2 questions.  Some schools want to have maybe 20 or  more lined 
up; but the danger is that not all kids will be able to ask their  question.  
We hate to have a disappointed student; especially if it is  younger 
student.  So if the number is kept to maybe 12 to 16, there is a  high probability 
that each kid will get to ask at least one question.  If  they get to the 
second round of questions, then that is a bonus.

The  questions are reviewed ahead of time to see if they are appropriate.  
We do  not really like to see questions related to politics, religion or 
sex.  We  also don't really want to see questions that will get only a Yes/No 
or  True/False type answer.

We often get asked by the schools on how to pick  the students.  That is 
the school's decision; not an ARISS one.  I  always suggest to the schools 
that I mentor that the student and the questions  are a pair.  Some schools 
want to pick the best speakers and separately  pick the best questions.  I 
really don't like that approach.  How  would you feel if your question gets 
picked but you didn't get allowed to ask  it? 

For general contacts (i.e. JOTA):
If you are talking about a  possible ISS contact during JOTA, then it is 
like a general contact.  You  take your chances at making a contact.  ARISS 
will not know if any crew  member will be on during JOTA until it actually 
happens; it is strictly their  decision.  If one of the crew members gets on 
during JOTA, then the  contacts will probably be very short to allow as many 
ground stations as  possible to talk.  That probably means maybe 1 or 2 will 
get to ask a  question.  During these type contacts, the questions are 
obviously not  reviewed ahead of time (but you would want to keep the same 
recommendations as  presented above).  Keep in mind that the ISS ham will really 
be the one in  control (like when working rare DX).

Hope this  helps.

Charlie Sufana AJ9N
One of the ARISS mentors 

In  a message dated 8/19/2009 11:49:05 P.M. Central Daylight Time,  
howardd at yahoo-inc.com writes:
Are the kids able to ask questions?   That's a good list for sure.  I was
under the impression that there will  be a pool of questions from Scouts
in advance and only a select number was to  be taken resulting in only a
few being chosen to contact and ask their  question.  This would provide
for an orderly list of contacts so that we  don't have a traffic jam
trying to get to talk to the ISS crew.  I was  under the impression that
if we do not have an approved scout with an  approved question we will
just monitor the radio traffic as the ISS  passes.  Could someone clarify
the intent and procedures here?  We  don't want to try and transmit if we
are not supposed to.  Any  guidelines from the JOTA Masters?  "May the
Force Be With  You!"

Dan Howard


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