Wednesday 19 january 2005



Tuesday 19 January 2005 in the afternoon over 300 people gathered in the hall of the Robespierre school in Rueil Malmaison near Paris. Among them more than 200 students.


At 17.55 local time astronaut Leroy Chiao onboard the International Space Station answered the call of the ground station. The signals from space were loud and clear.


Leroy answered 15 questions prepared by the students. Yes, the most beautiful sight from the vantage point of the ISS is the earth. Yes, there is enough water and air and food onboard for a supply ship arrived recently. No, there is no microwave oven for warming up the food, but another system. Being asked how many kilometers he had already traveled in space, Leroy said “surely many million”. He invited the students to calculate the amount for all information needed is readily available. 


The enthousiastic audience added a loud applaus to thanks and wishes extended by the operator at the end of the contact.


The amateur radio ground station F6KFA was operated by Joseph Lemoine, F6ICS. Christophe Riviere, F5IWN was in charge of the tracking antennas and the team was assisted by Mohamed who is preparing for the amateur radio licensing exams. Christophe Mercier, secretary AMSAT-France and ARISS-Europe board member, introduced the event to the audience and provided information on ARISS, amateur radio and the technical aspects involved.


Radio RMC (Monte Carlo) was present and will broadcast a reportage. Newspapers « Le Parisien » and « La Croix » had also dispatched reporters and will publish an article. Local cable television of Rueil Malmaison will present the event in their next Friday programme.


Congratulations to the Rueil Malmaison amateur radio club for a job well done.


Gaston Bertels, ON4WF

ARISS-Europe chairman

Robespierre audio