ARISS Scheduled Contact with Students at Stella Maris College

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) availed an ARISS radio contact between an astronaut aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and students at the Stella Maris College located in Gzira, Malta.  ARISS conducts 60-80 of these special amateur radio contacts each year between students around the globe and crew members with ham radio licenses aboard the ISS.

Stella Maris College is part of a network (La Salle Malta) of Lasallian Colleges that include De La Salle College and the Mellieha Retreat Centre. La Salle Malta was founded as a single school in 1903 by the Brothers of the Christian Schools and is now the La Salle Malta's Lasallian Colleges, run by the Malta Trust of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. Stella Maris College is hosting this ARISS contact for participating students in grades 5 through 10 (ages 9-15 years). Stella Maris College has partnered with members of the Malta Amateur Radio League (MARL) (9H1MRL) who provided support during the ARISS contact. Members of MARL have also made presentations to students about amateur radio, and demonstrated satellite tracking and talking to other hams through amateur radio satellites. Stella Maris College had previously operated their own amateur radio station. Members of other organizations that are also part of educational activities surrounding this ARISS contact include; the University of Malta, the Malta College for Science and Technology, Malta Council for Science and Technology and Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology.

This was a direct contact via Amateur Radio allowing students to ask their questions of Astronaut Josh Cassada, amateur radio call sign KI5CRH. The downlink frequency for this contact was 145.800 MHZ and could be heard by listeners that were within the ISS-footprint that also encompasses the relay ground station.

The amateur radio ground station for this contact is in Gzira, Malta. Amateur radio operators used thecall sign 9H1MRL, operated the ground station to establish and maintain the ISS connection.

The ARISS radio contact was scheduled for February 15, 2023 at 1:48 pm CET (Malta) (12:48UTC, 7:48 am EST, 6:48 am CST, 5:48 am MST, 4:48 am PST).

ARISS TEAM MALTA consisted of: 9H1M Dominic Azzopardi - RF and Systems Engineering, Operations and ARISS coordinator. 9H1GW Emmanuel Grech - RF Transmissions, Antennas, Educational Presentations 9H5TS Trevor Sammut - Redundant RF Setup, Live Streams, I.T Logistics 9H2AV - Andrew Vella Antenna Setups and Support, Live Event moderation 9H2AS - Anthony Scicluna - Logistics and Support. SWL Kyle Bugeja - IT Support, IT Networks and technical configurations. SWL Neville Azzopardi - Cameraman, video recording SWL Richard Galea - Professional Camera setup and Event recording SWL Nirvana Grima - Photography This event is being also being supported by the Malta Digital Innovation Authority and enabled through the Malta Amateur Radio League (9H1MRL). Further support was received by and Gadgets TV.