September 28, 2004


Thursday, September 30 2004, an ARISS School Contact is scheduled for the primary school of Montaud.

MONTAUD is located 16 kilometers northwest of GRENOBLE city, in the French Alps. It is a village in the mountains with 450 inhabitants distributed over a dozen hamlets. Houses are located from 700 to 900 meters above sea level. The main hamlet comprises the school, the city hall and the church. MONTAUD is a rural village with a few farms. Most inhabitants work in GRENOBLE. Many are researchers, teachers, engineers and technicians. Life is enjoyable in MONTAUD. One breathes pure air, surrounded by the scenery of nature.


The village is located in the north of the VERCORS wildland, the main place of the French Resistance during the second world war. This mountainous region culminates at 1600 meters. To the south of Montaud, the horizon is hidden by the hills and hampers radio contacts with satellites. Therefore, the groundstation for the ARISS radio contact will be that of ham operator Guy F5GJJ. Guy is active on ham satellites since many years. His station is located in a favourable area a few kilometers from the village. For the ARISS contact, an ATV and radio link has been set up between his station and the school.


The village school has 65 pupils, 3 to 12 years old, distributed in 3 classes. The primary class, 20 pupils 9 to 12 years old, led by schoolteacher Corinne, actively participate to the ARISS project since November 2002. The pupils are fond of science. Last year,  Jacques, member of the local hamradio club, introduced them to the world of radio communications.


The pupils look forward to thrill of the upcoming spacetalk, when their questions will be answered by an astronaut onboard the International Space Station.

Here are the questions they have prepared:

1. Margaux: Since how long are you in space now?

2. Morgan: What is the main reason for which you've become an Astronaut?

3. Charlotte: What is your job all day long?

4. Romane: Are you making experiments with animals?  If yes, what kind of experiments?

5. Bastien: Are you conducting some research on ET's?

6. Julie: Have you already faced some technical problems or real dangers in space?

7. Sidonie: What are the main special rules of safety or life onboard?

8. Estelle: How do you go to toilets in space?

9. Lucas: Have you already seen meteorites from the space station?

10. Cécile: What is the cruising speed of the space station?

11. Anaëlle: How are you able to breathe in the space station?

12. Larissa: How are you able to eat in the space station?

13. Thibaud: Do you often knock your head in the space station?

14. Margaux: Does it happen that you get a bit angry with one of your colleagues in the space station?

15. Morgan: Do you wear special clothes in the space station?

16. Charlotte: What is the temperature outside the space station?

17. Romane: Is the life hard in the space station?


The contact is scheduled at 12:04 UTC, which is 14:04 Central European Time. Ham radio operators are invited to listen to Mike Fincke’s answers on the downlink frequency 145.800 MHz FM.


Gaston Bertels, ON4WF

ARISS Europe chairman