Volusia Students to Talk to International Space Station


A group of lucky students will have the opportunity to chat with an astronaut on the International Space Station on Wednesday, thanks to a program facilitated through Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Five middle schools will be represented in the conversation, which will be held with NASA astronaut and current ISS occupant Matthew Dominick.

The exciting interaction is part of the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station program, which connects ISS astronauts with students using radio technology. Organizers chose ERAU as a participant for the 2023-24 school year, giving the school the chance to bring in students from Volusia County to join in.

The participating students have already been learning about the technology being used and about the program in the months leading up to their chat. They'll finally get the chance to talk to Matthew Dominick as the ISS passes over Central Florida at 11:22 am on Wednesday. At speeds of around 17.5k miles per hour, the ISS does a full orbit of the earth approximately every hour-and-a-half.

Other 'educational contacts', as the program describes them, are held through the radio program with students across the globe. The next chats after the ERAU one on Wednesday cover such locations as Russia, France, and Italy.

Astronaut Matthew Dominick joined NASA in 2017 after ten years in the United States Navy. He is one of seven crew members currently aboard the ISS, having launched on March 4th as part of a SpaceX flight. His career experience includes over 1,600 hours of flight time, 400 carrier-arrested landings, and 61 combat missions, according to his NASA profile.