Students at a Winnipeg high school are building a telebridge station that would allow them to see and talk to astronauts aboard the International Space Station.
A group of students and teachers at Shaftesbury High School is working on an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) telebridge station.
The project, currently in the early stages, aims to have students in the classroom not just talk to astronauts on board the ISS, but see them with streaming digital video.
The school needs to raise $15,000 to get the project working. If the group succeeds, Shaftesbury could be hosting the first international telebridge station in Canada.
While students in Manitoba have talked with astronauts in space before — as recently as in February — members of the Shaftesbury group say their project involves actually installing a communication station at the school.
"They connect to a telebridge station somewhere else in California or Germany…. But we're actually building the radio here," said Jake Booth, a student and certified radio operator.
Booth, who wants to design spacecraft one day, says he can't wait to talk to the astronauts who have inspired him.
"They're just floating around up there. Like, they're just up there, and they're just chilling," he said.
The ARISS project began following the success of the Shaftesbury High Altitude Robotics Project (SHARP), in which students tested the atmosphere by launching balloons into the sky.
"It became a no-brainer that we were prepared to do this. We had the experience, we had the expertise," said science teacher Adrian Deakin.
Students say they hope the project will get more kids get interested in studying science and math.