Amateur radio aboard the International Space Station is an experiment. And one in a rather unique environment.
Yes, amateur radio is involved in the ISS’ “master plan” as a communications system. And I believe it was used once for “official” comms between it and ground stations many years ago.
But please: Don’t get upset/angry that we aren’t receiving images this week. The astronauts aboard the ISS aren’t sitting around and not doing anything. If you go the Web sites of the space agencies involved, you can see the daily
schedules of activities. Couple that with the fact that they mainly work on UTC time ... and add to all that that today is Yuri Gagarin Day - Astronauts’ Day in Russia, when many ground-based personnel are busy with those special activities ...
SO ... please know I have never read a story indicating that any ham astronaut dislikes working us from the ISS. And they love the ARISS contacts with schools (well over 1,000 of those have been accomplished!).
There is a technical glitch with the current SSTV project. Use this to your advantage! Monitor for packet ... get your neighbors out and watch the ISS streak across the sky ... whip out that tape measure beam and discuss “line of sight” ...
Therenis plenty to enjoy and teach this weekend - whether SSTV gets back up or not!