Amateur Radio in Space: Special Summer Events in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara Amateur Radio Club members are preparing for a rare event this July that will allow local youngsters to make a live amateur radio contact with a NASA astronaut aboard the International Space Station (ISS)! The 10-minute live forum will bounce between a radio station at the Santa Barbara Public Library and the ham radio aboard the ISS (NA1SS) as the space station’s orbit passes over Southern California. The event is expected to take place sometime between July 1-3. Details will be forthcoming.

SBARC is supporting the Santa Barbara Public Library’s participation in the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program as part of the library’s comprehensive STEAM programming for upper elementary and junior high students. The ARISS event ties into the Summer Reading Program theme: Choose Adventure in Outer Space. The Santa Barbara Public Library endeavors to provide equal opportunities to all community members to learn about science, space travel, and careers in many fields that utilize these technologies, particularly in light of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing this summer.

As part of the space-themed program, SBARC will host three special events at the main branch library:

What is Amateur Radio? – A Community Conversation
Monday, June 10, 2019 – 6:30 PM – 7:45 PM @ Santa Barbara Public Library
A talk with members of the Santa Barbara Amateur Radio Club about modern amateur radio, common misconceptions, digital projects and how to get involved. Everyone is welcome, especially new hams and those who are not yet licensed! Free and open to all ages.

What is Amateur Radio? – Open House
Monday, July 8, 2019 – 6:30 PM – 7:45 PM @ Santa Barbara Public Library
An open house showcasing software defined radio technologies, amateur radio in orbit and other exciting digital equipment and projects. Come join us for hands-on learning and live demonstrations. Free and open to all ages.

Amateur Radio Technician Class License “Cram ‘n’ Exam”
Saturday, July 20, 2019 – 10:30 AM – 3:30 PM @ Santa Barbara Public Library
Join us to prepare for the amateur radio Technician Class license exam and then stick around after lunch for a specially scheduled test session. Cram is free and open to all ages. There is a $15 fee (check or cash) to sit for the exam. IMPORTANT: The “Cram ‘n’ Exam” session is not intended to replace advance preparation for the Technician Class amateur radio license exam. Candidates should expect to review material in advance.  Click here for exam preparation resources and information about exam registration requirements.

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station is a cooperative venture of the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the United States, and other international space agencies and international amateur radio organizations around the world. 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 informal education venues. With the help of experienced amateur radio volunteers from radio clubs and coordination from the ARISS team, the ISS crew members speak directly with large group audiences in a variety of public forums such as school assemblies, science centers and museums, scout camporees, jamborees and space camps, where students, teachers, parents, and communities learn about space, space technologies and amateur radio. Find more information at

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About K6LCM

Levi is a member of the SBARC Board of Directors and is the K6TZ Trustee. He is also a Volunteer Examiner.

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