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ISS is the acronym for "International Space Station". It is a space station placed in low Earth orbit that travels at a speed of 27,600 Km / h.

The International Space Station is permanently occupied by an international crew dedicated to scientific research in the space environment.

The program was initiated and piloted by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and developed jointly with the Russian Federal Space Agency (FKA), with the participation of the European Space Agency (ESA), Japan (JAXA) ).

The International Space Station is the largest artificial object placed in Earth orbit. It extends over 110 meters in length, 74 meters in width and 30 meters in height and has a mass of about 400 tons.

The station has a heterogeneous architecture with a Russian subset reflecting the architectural choices of the Mir station and a much larger subset developed according to standards defined by NASA.

It include about fifteen pressurized modules, four of them are devoted to scientific experiments, representing a volume of pressurized space of about 900 m3 in which 400 m3 livable.

The solar panels, with an area of ​​2,500 m2, provide 110 kW of electricity. The station moves around the Earth at an altitude maintained around 350-400 kilometers.

It has been permanently occupied since 2000. Each of the six astronauts, stay from 3 to 6 months andshares his working time between assembly operations, maintenance, and scientific tasks.

Scientific work mainly focuses on biology, in particular the adaptation of the human being to the absence of gravity, as well as the science of materials and astronomy.


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A radioamateur is a person who has been officially authorized to communicate by radio with other persons, who are also legally authorized. This license is called the radioamateur license.

To obtain his license, the radioamateur must pass a technical and a regulation test. In the past, he also had to meet the requirements of a morality investigation carried out by the General Intelligence Service, which was finalized by an interview. This was still the case in 1997 when I obtained my license.

In France, the license is delivered by the Ministry of Post, Telecommunications and Space.

Communications have to be carried out on the frequency bands allocated by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to amateur service and amateur-satellite service.

The amateur radio operator carries out an activity of a technical nature. Its skills are controlled and accessible to all.

In France, the National Frequencies Agency (ANFR) deliver a radioamateur operator certificate and assigns a call authorizing him to use the frequencies allocated by the Electronic Communications and Post Control Authority (ARCEP).

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The amateur program is a scientific activity that allows the establishment of radio links with radio amateurs all over the world. It allows the acquisition of technical knowledge in the fields of radio and electronics and to develop friendships between amateurs of different countries.


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ISS is the acronym for "International Space Station" It is a space station placed in low earth orbit, dedicated to scientific research.

The International Space Station (ISS) officially owns an radioamateur station. It is usedfor  emergency communication system and allows licensed radioamateurs to make contacts with radioamateurs from all over the world.

ARISS is an international association responsible for managing and improving the amateur radio station aboard ISS. In collaboration with NASA and the space agencies involved in the construction of ISS, ARISS is responsible for organizing educational amateur radio contacts between schools and astronauts on board the station.

The school wishing to carry out such an experiment prepares a training program specially focused on astronautics and technologies related to this type of event and applies.

When the school is selected, the radio contact can be made as soon as possible. The students then prepare a list of questions for astronauts and volunteer radio amateurs mount the station with their equipment. During the ISS flight of about 10 minutes, an astronaut answers the students' questions.


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The National Frequencies Agency (ANFR) deliver to each amateur a certificate of amateur radio operator and assign him/her a call authorizing him/her to use the frequencies allocated by the Electronic Communications and Post Control Authority (ARCEP).

In France, the call begins with the prefix "F", followed by a digit and a suffix of two or three letters.

In the Overseas Departments and Territories, an additional letter, between the "F" and the number, specifies the geographical area from which the station is broadcasting:

  • « FG » for Guadeloupe (FG1XY)
  • « FR » for Reunion (FR1XY)
  • « FO » for French Polynesia (FO1XY)
  • « FH » for Mayotte
  • « FJ »  for Saint-Barthélémy
  • « FK » for New Caledonie
  • « FP » for Saint-Pierre-and-Miquelon
  • « FS » for Saint-Martin
  • « FT » for French antartic territories
  • « FW» for Wallis and Futuna
  • « FY » for Guyane
  • « TK » for Corse

My call is F4BPP.


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© David OLIVARES - F4BPP