ISS radio contact for Dark Sky Festival at Sequoia National Park

I am Charlie Gutierrez from the Kern Astronomical Society. We present the star party at the Dark Sky Festival at Sequoia National Park. Next one is Sept 12, 2020. We are applying to have a chat with ISS during our event (800 to 1000 people). We need amateur radio helpers but I have had trouble locating and communicating with the radio club at Kern County (W6LIE). Inasmuch as you are actually closer to the park, I am wondering if you might be able to offer your radio talents toward making the event happen? There is no guarantee that we will get the public ISS chat opportunity, but the only way is to make an application. The deadline is fast approaching (Saturday night). I have letters of participation from the park, and our local astronomy club, but I need something from a radio club. Is this something any of you might be interested in helping out with? If so, please call me ASAP at (661) 304-0649. I apologize for the late request but I was sure it would be easier to roust our local radio guys. But it seems you need a radio to find them. Thank you.
 

KY4TRK

James
Staff member
@KM6IOE Calvin @W6RAY @Eric Ott @Larry Taylor @Scott Taylor
@Charlie Gutierrez thanks for making contact with us the TCARC. I myself think this is something the club would be on board for. I have tagged our main board of directors here as I am also one of them, though more new as an activity director in the club. Fill free to direct message them @Eric Ott @W6RAY, eric is are vice pres for 2020 and ray is are pres for 2020

our FB pages fill free to check us out there also.
https://www.facebook.com/TulareCountyARC
https://www.facebook.com/groups/TulareCountyARC
 
Thank you, James! I have attempted to contact several Central Valley clubs. Yours so far is the most hopeful response. We still have to apply and be accepted so this is all theoretical. Do you think it's possible to talk about this and make a decision by Saturday? I could write the letter of participation if needed and you could just paste in in with a signature or two of club officers. That's all I need to begin with. For my part, I think the whole endeavor would be fun if we're selected. Several years ago at our star party for Dark Sky Festival the ISS passed over head several times. Each time everyone (hundreds and hundreds of people) clapped and cheered. They are definitely space fans. Everyone would find a live chat with ISS thrilling if we can pull it off. More info and details can be found at https://www.ariss.org
 

KM6IOE Calvin

Active member
@KM6IOE Calvin @W6RAY @Eric Ott @Larry Taylor @Scott Taylor
@Charlie Gutierrez thanks for making contact with us the TCARC. I myself think this is something the club would be on board for. I have tagged our main board of directors here as I am also one of them, though more new as an activity director in the club. Fill free to direct message them @Eric Ott @W6RAY, eric is are vice pres for 2020 and ray is are pres for 2020

our FB pages fill free to check us out there also.
https://www.facebook.com/TulareCountyARC
https://www.facebook.com/groups/TulareCountyARC
Count me in as I am liking what I see hear we will be having more conversations about this and hopefully get enough on board. Thanks for reaching out to us.
 
Count me in as I am liking what I see hear we will be having more conversations about this and hopefully get enough on board. Thanks for reaching out to us.
I am SO ENCOURAGED to hear the positivity with you guys! Anyone please feel free to ring me with questions. Charlie at 661-304-0649. or visit ariss.org
 

KM6IOE Calvin

Active member
I am Charlie Gutierrez from the Kern Astronomical Society. We present the star party at the Dark Sky Festival at Sequoia National Park. Next one is Sept 12, 2020. We are applying to have a chat with ISS during our event (800 to 1000 people). We need amateur radio helpers but I have had trouble locating and communicating with the radio club at Kern County (W6LIE). Inasmuch as you are actually closer to the park, I am wondering if you might be able to offer your radio talents toward making the event happen? There is no guarantee that we will get the public ISS chat opportunity, but the only way is to make an application. The deadline is fast approaching (Saturday night). I have letters of participation from the park, and our local astronomy club, but I need something from a radio club. Is this something any of you might be interested in helping out with? If so, please call me ASAP at (661) 304-0649. I apologize for the late request but I was sure it would be easier to roust our local radio guys. But it seems you need a radio to find them. Thank you.
Again Thank you for reaching out to us hear at the club. It was a pleasure talking to you on the phone today. I will be looking for the letter with the guide lines for review and with the help of some other members we will compose our intent of interest to participate in the Dark Sky Festival scheduled for Sept 12, 2020 . Lets keep in touch!
 
Thanks for all your help!!! I have the application in. Cross your fingers and pray. It would be a lot of fun. Several radio clubs could get to know each other and pitch in for a fun experience. Kern And Tulare look like they're up for it. Good because there are actually three star party sites. I was only hoping to man one of them. But if we get Fresno on board we might hit all three. Three teams made up of one or two from each club? That would be cool. Anyway, for now we just hope for a positive response from the ARISS education committee.

Thanks for the perfect letter of commitment, Calvin and James!!!
 
Charlie Gutierrez here with Kern Astronomical.

Very sorry to report but we were not accepted into the ARISS program for a conference with the ISS.

But this isn't over yet. I am pursuing other ISS angles. There are a few other paths possible to make something cool happen for the star party.

Will update you when something develops.

Thank you for all your efforts. By the way, I think it would be very difficult for Dark Sky to fit into the very narrow parameters of the ARISS program. Both time constraints and educational. It was a long shot. But they have been helpful to suggest other possibilities. I am looking at those and pursuing others as well.

By the way, there is a very strong possibility that our best option is to establish regular radio contact with ISS and become familiar with how to reach them competently and predictably. That would mean beginning immediately to get comfortable with making contact. But at our astronomy club we have some good NASA connections that may help us hedge our bets. We are getting our heads together on the 25th to make a game plan.

Thanks,

Charlie
Ph# 661-304-0649​
 

KM6IOE Calvin

Active member
Thanks so much for your eagerness to make something happen. This isn't the news I was hoping for but there will be other opportunities to come I am sure of that because of your determination. I just mentioned outloud this last weekend that I wanted to make a ISS contact. Keep us posted.
 
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