December 7, 2003




Friday 5 December 2003 at 14:58 UTC the Technical Highschool Berufliches Schulzentrum Elektrotechnik DL0IKT in Dresden, Germany, performed a radio contact with the US astronaut Mike Foale, KB5UAC, on board the ISS.


Last summer, 7 students of the Berufliches Schulzentrum Elektrotechnik in Dresden and their teacher Thomas Hetland, DL8DXW, made an extraordinary decision: they started a preparation course for the amateur radio exam. The goal was to participate in a radio contact with an astronaut on the ISS by using their own amateur radio callsign.


On September 27, 2003, the amateur radio community gained 7 new members. Anna, Pavel, Martin, Henry, Coelestus, Markus and Stephan each received their own amateur radio licence.


The technical team did a brilliant job and set up the satellite station absolutely professionally. The 7 amateur radio youngsters, the coordinating teacher, Mr. Thomas Hetland, the technical team, the principal of the school, Mr. Klaus Goehler, a representative of the Ministry of Education and an audience of about 70 students gathered in the early afternoon and waited for the contact.


The ISS called the school at the predicted time. During the 10 minutes long contact the students asked questions on a variety of topics, ranging from gravity (real and artificial) to oxygen consumption and water reserves on the ISS. Mike Foale answered 14 questions.


The sound quality was good, with very minimumal noise. The loss of signal came after the farewell words of the coordinating teacher, during the applause of the audience.


Two TV stations, 4 radio stations, and 2 newspapers covered the event. The Ministry of Education published an official statement of the event.


A big succes and a superb illustration of the education power of the ARISS school contacts.



73, Peter Kofler, IN3GHZ, ARISS mentor