November 2017 -  Another busy month that culminated in a successful Q&A: 1. The 16 winning questions were chosen and Bishop Hendricken and Bay View students notified.   2.  We were notified of the "space chat" date and time. It's Thursday, November 30th starting at 12:02PM Eastern.  We talked to GoLocalProv about the event. 3. Watch the highlights of "Rhode Island Space Chat #2" here.

RI Space Chat #2

October 2017 -  A busy month: announced "last call" for student questions, began scoring the questions, finalized the biography of the two schools, distributed for comment  14 potential day/time orbital pairs for the event, met with Bishop Hendricken leaders, and ran technical checks in the Hendricken theater. 
Exp 53 poster

September 2017 - Three new crew members -- including Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba -- were launched Tuesday, September 12 at 517pm. View the launch on this short NASA video clip --
NASA Johnson music video

August 2017 -  Getting the HamTV aspects to work properly moved slower than expected.  At our request, ARISS has provided us with the telebridge option -- using another ground station for the radio connection to the  ISS -- which is used for 60% of the school contacts. The scheduled week moved to the end of November. 

July 2017 - We've made several attempts to receive the fast-moving TV signal from the ISS. The closest we got was a July 13 try when the software told us that it was decoding some of the signal.  We need a bigger dish whose tracking is driven by a computer and not by human hands. 

June 2017 - The "Ask Astronaut Mark" question contest starts within Bishop Hendricken and Bay View. 

May 2017 - The German TV receiver and French software gets installed and passes initial checks. A specialized signal amplifier, that will boost the ISS signal 100,000 fold is ordered.  An Irish engineer/ham radio enthusiast, with recent ISS video experience, joins the RI team.  Bishop Hendricken's new ham radio club holds its first meeting and begins to discuss their role for the October event. 

April 2017 - Bishop Hendricken students begin thinking about questions to pose to the astronaut. We're told that we'll be scheduled for a time during the week of October 16-20.  

March 2017 - ARISS asks Bishop Hendricken to prioritize a choice of weeks in the Fall 2017 for the contact.  Initial tests of a vital HamTV tracking system take place in Portsmouth.  Specialized TV receiver from Germany arrives, Student Gabriel LeBeau passes the FCC amateur radio licensing test and is granted callsign KC1HGG. 

February 2017 - Technical plan is submitted to ARISS and accepted with a placeholder for a future HamTV proposal. 

January 2017 - Key school personnel and volunteers from Newport County Radio Club participate in national webinar to prepare the technical proposal, Roof survey at Hendricken is completed.

December 2016 - ARISS US accepts the educational proposal and requests a technical plan for the primary and backup radio stations. 
Eleven US Schools, Organizations Advance to Next Stage of ARISS Ham Contact Selection

October 2016 - Bishop Hendricken staff author an educational plan and submit  proposal to ARISS.