ARISS Contact - Mendez Fundamental Intermediate School, Santa Ana, CA, direct via AA6TB

Mendez Fundamental Intermediate School, Santa Ana, CA, direct via AA6TB
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS
The scheduled astronaut is Ricky Arnold KE5DAU
Contact is a go for: Thu 2018-09-06 16:49:52 UTC 81 deg

Several stations were able to receive parts of the contact:

Map of the ground track, the above mentioned SatNOGS ground stations and the contact site:

Congratulations and 73 to all!

More details about the contact from AMSAT-BB:

Click here for the details

An International Space Station school contact has been planned with participants at Mendez Fundamental Intermediate School, Santa Ana, CA on 06 Sept. The event is scheduled to begin at approximately 16:49 UTC. The duration of the contact is approximately 9 minutes and 30 seconds. The contact will be direct between NA1SS and AA6TB. The contact should be audible over the state of California, U.S.A and adjacent areas. Interested parties are invited to listen in on the 145.80 MHz downlink. The contact is expected to be conducted in English.

Mendez Fundamental Intermediate School, opened in 2000, is named in honor and recognition of Gonzalo and Felicitas Mendez who fought for equal education for the all children. In 1945, with several other families they filed a lawsuit entitled Mendez V. Westminster, asking the court to issue an injunction ordering the integration of their school district. The lawsuit argued that segregation based on national origin violated the United States Constitution. On April 14, 1947, the 9th Circuit US Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. The court ordered all school districts in California to desegregate allowing the Mendez children to attend previously all-white schools. Eight years after Mendez V. Westminster, Brown V Board of Education ended “separate but equal” education throughout the United States. However, it was the Mendez case that set the precedent for desegregating schools based upon race. Because of their bravery and dedication, Gonzalo and Felicitas Mendez opened the door for a better education not only for children in California, but for children throughout the United States. In 2010, their daughter, Sylvia Mendez was awarded the Medal of Freedom for continuing the work started by her parents, ensuring that all students have equal access to a quality education.

Mendez is a public school of choice, located in Santa Ana, a high-density city in Southern California. Mendez serves over 1400 students in grades 6-8 and students enroll through a lottery system. 98% of our students are Hispanic and 20% are English Learners. Our students participate in a robust STEM program including classes and clubs focusing on computer science, mechanical engineering, robotics, and rocketry. Our students have participated in many NASA and space related activities due to the personal interest and dedication of our teachers. For the past 5 years, student teams have participated in the Team America Rocketry Challenge. In 2017 two of our teachers flew aboard the Sophia and in 2016, we sent an experiment to the ISS as part of the Student Space Flights Experiments Program Mission 8. The Mendez flight experiment researched the question, “Does microgravity affect the water absorption of hyaluronic acid?” Most recently, we received a grant from ISS Above for tracking hardware/ software and curriculum. All of our students are enjoying these lessons as we prepare for our ARISS event.

Our students and staff are so grateful for this opportunity. At Mendez, our mission is to continue the work started by the Mendez family by providing our students with a rich array of opportunities, which spark curiosity, lead to deeper learning and open the door to future possibilities.

Thank you for spending some of your time with us.

Participants will ask as many of the following questions as time allows:

  1. How is using a ham radio on the ISS different than operating one on Earth?

  2. I was wondering if any of the current crew members are artists and if yes, how is it different from doing art on Earth?

  3. How is it determined which astronaut conducts which experiments and can you choose which experiments to work on?

  4. How does your research on salmonella in microgravity relate to life on Earth?

  5. What do you do during your free time and how much free time do you have?

  6. How do you deal with the lack of privacy on the ISS?

  7. What is something you forgot to bring or wish you’d brought with you on this mission?

  8. I’m always losing stuff. Have you ever lost something on the Space Station?

  9. How has your time living on the ISS affected the way you live on Earth?

  10. I want to be an astronaut when I grow up. What advice can you give me?

  11. What is the thing you miss most while on the Space Station?

  12. Our school sent up a student space flights experiment in 2016. Are you currently working on any student experiments?

  13. How has your time in microgravity affected your coordination and vision? Have you noticed any lasting changes?

  14. Do you ever get to contact your family? If yes, how?

  15. What has been your biggest “AH HA!” moment? (What has surprised you the most?)

  16. How did teaching in a classroom prepare you for doing science on the ISS?

  17. How do your eyes adjust to the constant change from daylight to darkness as you circle the Earth?

  18. Will you continue your exercise regime when you get back to Earth?

  19. Do you ever feel nauseous when you are in space? What do you do if you get sick?

  20. When you are sleeping on the ISS, what do you hear?


About ARISS:

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is a cooperative venture of international amateur radio societies and the space agencies that support the International Space Station (ISS). In the United States, sponsors are the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). 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, ISS crews speak directly with large audiences in a variety of public forums. Before and during these radio contacts, students, teachers, parents, and communities learn about space, space technologies, and amateur radio. For more information, see,, and

Thank you & 73,
David - AA4KN