In Izmir, Turkey a Partner School Project week is being held on July 4-10, 2004. The purpose of this event is for students and teachers from Turkey and several other countries including the U.S., Greece and Israel to meet in the neutral environment of Space Camp Turkey.

Students are promoting friendship and cooperation through space education. Approximately 130 students between the ages of 12-16 years old attend this week. Among other Space related activities, the youngsters are building rockets and fire them off.

Today, Monday 5 July 2004, several boys and girls had the opportunity to put a question to astronaut Mike Fincke, KE5AIT on board the ISS and get his answer from Space. This was made possible by Amateur Radio. At 8:25 UTC, the ARISS ground station WH6PN located in Honolulu, Hawaii and operated by Dick AH6NM established contact with NA1SS operated by Mike, KE5AIT. A telebridge had been set up, courtesy of MCI, between Honolulu and Izmir and the students started putting their questions.

The audio was excellent and Mike Fincke answered 15 questions which had been prepared by the students. Ali: “What do your children think of you being gone for so long? How often do you communicate with your family?” Mike: “You know, this is almost my favourite question of all of them. I have a boy who is three years old and a baby that was born while I was up here. So my little boy misses me very much and my little girl doesn’t even know who I am yet. But I get to talk to my wife and my little boy every day on the telephone. We have a telephone up here and it is very interesting that I can be able to talk to my family and it makes a big difference to me”.

A recording of this Space Talk is available for download (MP3 535kb) : Izmir recording

Gaston Bertels

ARISS-Europe chairman