SpaceJam 8 Will Feature ARISS Contact
Scouting's Space Jamboree 8 — known as SpaceJam 8 — hopes to log its eighth Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact this weekend. The annual gathering of Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and Venture Crew members from the US and Canada gets underway August 1 in Rantoul, Illinois, with upward of 3500 attendees anticipated. The theme for this year’s event is “The Eagles Have Landed.”
The Scouts are scheduled to speak with NASA Astronaut Reid Wiseman, KF5LKT, on August 2. ARISS has arranged for two-way audio of the contact, between W6SRJ in California, and NA1SS on the ISS, to be “telebridged” to the SpaceJam 8 site and Rantoul Airport and Chanute Aerospace Museum. Charlie Sufana, AJ9N, the ARISS technical mentor, will coordinate the contact with the event. Sufana has been the ARISS mentor for the previous seven ARISS contacts at Space Jamboree.
SpaceJam 8 is described as “primarily a weekend Scouting and STEM education event” that is open to all interested youth “to learn more about the life skills that will prepare them for the increasingly complex technological future.” These “new pioneers” will tackle a variety of technology oriented merit badges and activities while at the three-day camp. Topics will include space exploration, aviation, radio, and electronics. “Space Jam is the scouting technology event of the year,” the sponsoring Boy Scouts of America said.
An Amateur Radio licensing class is on the list of activities campers can select. Last year’s Space Jamboree turned out eight new radio amateurs.