Students connect with the space station via ham radio

Dr. Denis Campbell discusses radio communication with the International Space Station.

The crackle of a human voice emanating from a manmade structure whirling around the earth at more than 17,000 mph cut through the sounds of 400 schoolchildren at the Holy Family Catholic School gym this morning.

The voice, that of Col. Douglas Wheelock, commander of the International Space Station, was calling out for ‘“Whiskey zero yankee hotel,” or the amateur radio call sign for Holy Family.

Eyes widened and bodies leaned forward as the students tried to make out what Wheelock was saying as the space station passed over western Colorado. Over the last three years, eighth-grade students in Yolanda Pacheco’s science class have been building components of the ham radio. The students had a 15-minute window to communicate with astronauts 197 miles above the Earth.

Read the full story in Saturday’s edition of The Daily Sentinel.


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