May 9, 2001


Astronaut Dan Bursch, KD5PNU, addressed the burning issues important to elementary school students in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, this morning. Molly Black asked, "Can you still blow bubbles with gum in space?" Bursch confidently assured her, "Yes, we still can!" He even went into detail, explaining that the bubbles formed the same way as they do on earth.

Kyle Black asked, "What is your favorite meal?" Bursch responded by saying that the food he misses the most in space is pizza, but that among the meals that he enjoys the most on the International Space Station is japanese rice and curry.

Concerned about beverages, Nick Reaney inquired, "If you open a soda, will it fizz?" The astronautic gourmet replied, "The bubbles won't float to the top of the soda. What you would see is all the bubbles collect inside the soda itself."

Bursh was able to answer a total of thirteen questions during the ten-minute contact arranged under the auspices of ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station). James "Yogi" Bear, WB3FQY, operated the two-meter station set up on the campus of Hambright Elementary School. A crowd of students, teachers and parents applauded the successful contact as signals from the ISS faded. ARISS mentor Kerry Banke, N6IZW, assisted with details of preparation. ARISS is an international project, with U.S. participation by ARRL, AMSAT and NASA.