October 21, 2002


Sunday October 20th, 2002 astronaut Peggy Whitson on board the ISS answered questions put by scouts over the ARISS station.

This year, the official opening of the JOTA in the Netherlands was done by Dutch astronaut Andre Kuipers who congratulated the Ascanen scouting group of Lelystad for their ARISS sked with Peggy Whitson.

Over a hundred scouting groups from all over the country listened to the downlink while the voice from Space answered a dozen questions. On the contact site, parents and friends of the 20 selected children assisted to the space talk. Local radio and TV broadcasts covered the event. The scouts were very impressed by the quality of the radio link and delighted to have an astronaut joining in to the Jamboree on the Air, right from the International Space Station.

In Belgium also the downlink was monitored by a receiving station set up in Ghent, at Flanders Expo where a Science Exhibition for the youth drew a big assistance. In the stand of the Royal Belgian Amateur Radio Union (U.B.A.), mainly devoted to ARISS, the visitors (mostly youngsters, parents and teachers) followed the pass of the ISS on a beamer screen showing the world map. Before each answer from Peggy Whitson, the corresponding question was read to the audience, as a perfect reconstitution of the uplink channel.