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Santa Barbara Library to Contact International Space Station

Twelve Students Will Radio Questions to the Astronauts

Photo: Courtesy The astronauts are ready for your questions.

Why did the sun go to school? To get brighter. 

School may be out for summer, but that’s no excuse to stop learning. That will be especially true for the 12 Santa Barbara students who are asking questions to the astronauts on the International Space Station in July. The children, aged 7 to 14, are part of the Santa Barbara Public Library’s annual Reading and Learning series; this year’s theme is space. The library series was selected to participate in the Amateur Radio program on the International Space Station, in cooperation with NASA. Radio contact with the International Space Station (ISS) crew is scheduled to take place Wednesday, July 3, at 10:54 a.m. Although the radio contact itself will only last approximately ten minutes, a whole day of interactive learning activities about space adventures will be available at the library. 

Students and adults can learn about space, space technologies, and amateur (or “Ham”) radio. Hams use this equipment to talk to each other across town, across the world, and even all the way into space without using the internet or cell networks. While many use it just for fun, amateur radios are also used during natural disasters and emergencies when normal communications infrastructures are damaged. 

“This is an opportunity that organizations across the world can apply to, and after we decided on a space-themed summer reading program for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, we thought it was a perfect opportunity to get kids and adults alike excited about space exploration, science, engineering, technology, math, and learning in general,” said Molly Wetta, acting library services manager.

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