Astronaut Mike Foale has spoken to the school he used to attend. Wednesday 28 January 2004, as the International Space Station passed overhead on its orbit, Mike Foale answered questions posed by students at The King’s School, Canterbury, UK.

At 17:42 UTC, when the ISS answered the call of GB4FUN, operated by Carlos G0AKI, the audience kept its breath. Mike Foale answered 12 questions.

Amanda: When you have some free time, do you prefer to look down on the Earth or up at the stars?

Mike: Amanda, most of the time I look down at the Earth. However on the night side, if I have been exercising I go and cool down by looking at the Galaxy. You can see the Milky Way from up here and it is absolutely tremendous. The stars have different colours – reds and greens and blues and yellows.

When the ISS went over the horizon and the spacetalk came to an end, the enthousiastic audience answered with a loud applause. The Lord Mayor of Canterbury, the School’s dignitaries, the RSGB and AMSAT UK representatives, the students and the media, all were impressed by the quality of the audio from the spacecraft.

The media coverage was impressive: Meridian TV (ITV South), BBC TV (South East), BBC Radio Kent, Invicta Radio, Kent Gazette interviewed the students and put the event in the main news. The BBC World Service and the Press Association asked for information and transcripts. 


Gaston Bertels, ON4WF

ARISS-Europe chairman

King's School audio