Can we call the ISS a spaceship?

Earth calls ISS - communication with cosmonauts

Science & Exploration

Educating future generations of scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians is a task for the whole world, in which Roskosmos, the Russian space agency, also participates. The most important projects of the International Space Station include education and publicity projects that appeal to young people and are intended to interest them in studying the natural sciences. In addition, these projects stimulate the development of state-of-the-art technical systems and promote space programs in general, and the ISS program in particular, to the public. There are currently four educational projects underway on the Russian ISS segment, namely Coulomb Crystal, Shadow-Mayak, MAI-75 and Great Start. They all fascinate students all over Russia and promise great success for the future.

Educating future generations of scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians is a task for the whole world, in which Roskosmos, the Russian space agency, also participates. The most important projects of the International Space Station include education and publicity projects that appeal to young people and are intended to interest them in studying the natural sciences. In addition, these projects stimulate the development of state-of-the-art technical systems and promote space programs in general and the ISS program in particular to the public. There are currently four educational projects underway on the Russian ISS segment, namely Coulomb Crystal, Shadow-Mayak, MAI-75 and Great Start. They all fascinate students all over Russia and promise great success for the future.

The Coulomb Crystal Experiment examines the dynamics of charged particles in an inhomogeneous magnetic field in weightlessness. Pilot studies on board the ISS deal with the structural properties of Coulomb clusters: phase transitions in liquid crystals, wave processes and the physical and mechanical properties of the heating mechanisms involved, to name just a few of the research objectives. Secondary school students and college students were able to set up and conduct the experiment on Earth.

In the Shadow Mayak project, amateur radio operators can use VHF radio to communicate with the ISS crew. The radio system on board the Russian ISS segment serves as a means to bring students closer to the subject of space communication. The students familiarize themselves with the technical requirements for sending and receiving radio signals and use the worldwide amateur radio network for this purpose. In addition, they learn about the properties and spatial distribution of the intensity of radio signals during transmission up to the ISS and from the transceiver on board the ISS back to earth.

Just like Shadow-Mayak, MAI-75 is one of the communication projects on board the Russian ISS segment. MAI-75 enables fast video downlinks from space to earth in almost real time and gives schoolchildren and amateur radio operators from all over Russia the chance to experience firsthand from space explorers how it is possible to live and work in space. Recordings of the earth from space support the learning process and convey inspiration and motivation.

The “Great Start” educational program promotes the achievements of Russian space travel in Russia and around the world. As part of the project, for example, a questionnaire was created for the public to express their opinion on a major event in human history - the first manned space flight. In addition, Great Start is intended to publicize the results of scientific experiments on board the ISS and international cooperation on the ISS, thereby integrating Russia even more closely into the world's cultural, educational and scientific currents. Scientific and educational events are to take place for the public to highlight the achievements of manned spaceflight in Russia. In this way, young people, but also experts from various disciplines, can get to know the practical benefits of space research and its results.

Several further experiments are planned as part of the Russian educational projects for schoolchildren and students: In ecological projects, experiments on the behavior of microscopic particles floating in the air (aerosols) are to take place under microgravity. In chemical experiments, certain structural elements based on composite polymer materials under microgravity and their diffusion behavior will be investigated. In diffusion experiments, the process of diffusion in liquids under weightlessness should be shown. Hundreds, if not thousands, of schoolchildren and students from all regions of Russia will take part in these educational projects. And like all regional, national and international ISS education projects, these should also inspire and motivate the young generation to consider a career in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.

Sergey Avdeev, Deputy Department Head, Division Chief
The Central Scientific Research Institute of Machine-Building - TSNIIMASH

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