ASTRONAUT MIKE FINCKE PARTICIPATES TO THE “LONG NIGHT OF THE STARS”
At , Mike Fincke, Science Officer and Flight Engineer onboard the International Space Station, called the ESOC amateur radio clubstation DL0ESA for a scheduled ARISS contact. Rolf DK7FU operated the groundstation and the signals from Space were loud and clear.
Mike, KE5AIT sent his
greetings and the greetings of Commander Gennady Padalka to the audiences at
ESOC and in the many participating institutions. He spoke of his work onboard
the ISS and mentioned the Spacewalks he has performed with Gennady. One of
their tasks during these Extra Vehicular Activities has been to install
antennas for the
The astronauts have very busy days, but also some free time. They have dinner late, at (UTC). They have telephones to talk to their family and they also stay informed of the news of the day. Mike is fond of reading electronic books that are uploaded on demand.
About stars and planets, Mike stated they look the same as from earth but don’t twinkle, since there is no atmosphere. He much appreciated the opportunity to discover the southern constellations.
The ARISS contact was video broadcast across ESOC live. There was also a big screen in the open. It was a nice late summer evening and the sky was clear. A crowd followed the ARISS contact on the big screen outside and in the same time could see the ISS crossing the sky as a bright moving star. Quite an experience. When Mike Fincke stated that he was looking forward to the joint exploration of Space by all nations: “Humans’ Future in Space”, his words were followed with rapt attention by everyone, old and young, with a huge crowd of happy, excited faces all around.
At ESOC about 1200
visitors and 150 staff members assisted to the contact. Moreover, in the nearby
In total, 28 journalists and their associated staff covered the event, of which 11 newspapers and magazines, 3 news agencies, the Hessen TV-station (which relayed the material to the main nationwide channel ARD) and 4 radio broadcast stations.
The number of visitors in the 175 participating institutions was 120.000 and a sizeable proportion of these witnessed the ARISS contact live.
Gaston Bertels, ON4WF