Amateur Radio on board the International Space Station (ARISS) is an international working group of  amateur radio societies of the countries participating to the ISS, devoted to implementing the amateur radio station on board the ISS and in charge of planning school contacts with astronauts.

More information is available on the ARISS-Europe website <>



The King’s School Canterbury is a co-educational boarding school for students aged 13-18. In total there are close to 800 students of which something like 150 are day pupils (i.e. they return home at the end of the school day). The school teaching week runs from Monday through to 12.30 on Saturday. The student population is divided into 5 years groups designated shells (13 years old), removes, 5th, 6b and 6a.

Astronaut Mike Foale, presently serving on the International Space Station, studied at King’s School. He is very interested in the ARISS School Contact scheduled for Wednesday 28 January, 2004.

RSGB’s mobile station GB4FUN will handle the contact at Canterbury. Acquisition of signal is computed to be 17:42 UTC.

During the 10 minutes pass, students will ask the questions they have prepared and listen to the answers their senior will radio them from space.

1. Hello this is Amanda:  Is the training you receive an accurate simulation of what it is really like in space? OVER

2. Hello this is Adebosola:  What adjustments do you have to make between daily life in space and on earth? OVER

3. Hello this is Theodor:  Do everyday things like electric toothbrushes, shavers and ink pens work in space, or do they have to be specially designed? OVER

4. Hello this is Lawrence:  Given that you are a role model for pupils at King’s, is there any advice that you would like to pass on from your experiences? OVER  

5. Hello this is Alex:  What manner of routine maintenance and navigational tasks do you need to perform on board the ISS? OVER

6. Hello this is Alex again:  Do you have any spacewalks planned for this mission, and if so, what activities will you be performing? OVER

7. Thank you, this is Alex’s third question:  What do you see as the main benefits of sending manned missions into space as well as unmanned probes? OVER

8. This is Alex’s final question:  Do you think that we are currently entering a crucial phase for manned spaceflight? OVER           

9. Hello this is Theodor:  Are there any experiments being carried out on the ISS at the moment that you find particularly interesting? OVER       

10. Hello this is Theodor again:  Are you able to see the Northern Lights from space? OVER        

11. Hello this is Amanda:  When you have some free time, do you prefer to look down on the Earth or up at the stars? OVER           

12. Hello this is Amanda, I have another question:  If you daydream in space, what does it tend to be about? OVER         

13. Hello this is Adebosola:  Can you see signs of natural disasters on Earth from the ISS and do you feel detached from such events when you hear about them on the news? OVER

14. Hello this is Adebosola again:  Has the Columbia disaster affected your feelings about going into space? OVER

15. Hello this is Lawrence:  Given the current situation with the shuttle, do you think that the space station will ever be completed? OVER

16. Hello this is Lawrence once again:  What do you see yourself doing in the future when you stop being an astronaut? OVER

17. Hello this is Amanda:  If you could take your family into space, what would be the first thing that you would show them? OVER

18. Hello this is Adebosola:  When you go into space, do you take a lucky charm with you? OVER

19. Hello this is Theodor:  What have been your favourite and least favourite moments in space? OVER

20. Hello this is Lawrence:  What do you believe are the prospects for future manned missions to the Moon and Mars? OVER


Interested parties are invited to listen to Mike Foale’s answers on the downlink frequency 145.800 MHz FM.

Good luck!!


Gaston Bertels, ON4WF

ARISS-Europe chairman