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Central Students to speak live with astronaut traveling aboard space station

Last school year, Lt. Cord Davidson, an Independence County Sheriffs deputy assigned to Central Math & Science Magnet Elementary in Batesville as a school resource officer, submitted the school to participate in ARISS – Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ISS).

Davidson, who is an amateur radio operator, said ARISS is a program that allows schools to communicate with the ISS via amateur radio. The selection process is very competitive and last summer Central Magnet was one of thirteen schools in the U.S. selected to participate in the program during the spring 2018 semester.

For the event, there will a school assembly at the Batesville School District auditorium, 955 Water St., on Wednesday, Jan. 31 starting at 12:00 p.m. UPDATE Jan. 25, 2018: The time has now been moved to 10:30 a.m., with the call scheduled for 10:42 a.m. A group of ten students has been selected who will get to ask the astronaut a series of questions. At the time of the assembly, the ISS will be over Europe. The assembly will have a telephone hook-up to an amateur radio ground station in Belgium who will beam a radio signal up to the ISS.

The students will speak to veteran astronaut Joe Acaba. Acaba first flew to the ISS aboard STS-119 (Discovery) in 2009 where he performed two spacewalks. In 2012, Acaba returned to the ISS as a member of expedition 31/32 where he spent 125 days in space. The past September, Acaba made his third spaceflight to the ISS as a member of expedition 53/54.

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