December 17, 2004




Friday 17 December 2004 at 13:52 UTC, US astronaut Leroy Chiao, KE5BRW on board the International Space Station answered questions from students gathered in University College Cork, Ireland.


ESA, the European Space Agency, had set up an educational event for several schools in Ireland and ten classes participated to the venue in Cork. The students had prepared 10 questions and Leroy answered all. When Danielle asked “What can you see when you look out the window of the space station?”, Leroy said he could see cities, airports, etc but he was still looking to see the Great Wall of China. 


This space talk was done by “telebridge”. The day of the Cork event the passes of the ISS over Ireland were very early in the morning. Therefore it was decided to do the contact by one of the ARISS ground stations. VK5ZAI, Tony Hutchison, located in Kingston, south-east Australia, provided the radio contact in the amateur two meter band. MCI, the world telecom company, offered the phone link to Ireland as well as to the USA from where Will marchant, K6ROL, moderated the contact. Moreover, the audio was circulated by IRLP, thank you Wayne.


In Cork, an audience of over 300 students, teachers and VIP listened to the space talk. On a big screen, showing the world map, they could see the ISS approaching from the Indian Ocean and crossing the Australian continent. Jeremy Sheehan EI5GM operated the phone and presented the mike to the students. The signals were crystal clear.


Several newspapers, a TV station and the Irish national radio broadcast station covered the event.


The ESA representatives and the academic authorities were delighted and extended thanks to the ARISS volunteers for a job well done.


Gaston Bertels, ON4WF

ARISS-Europe chairman



Cork audio

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