November 9, 2005




Furtherwick Park School is located in Canvey Island, South Essex. Canvey is a flat, mainly residential area of 44.000, surrounded by fields and borders the Thames estuary. Furtherwick Park has a staff of approximately 50 teachers and an equal number of support staff. The school has long-standing partner schools across Europe and is looking to use video conferencing with both staff and students to build links with other schools. The pupils are deeply committed to sporting success and achieve it at both local and national level.


Furtherwick Park has an appointment with the International Space Station November 9 at 17:45 UTC, which is 18:45 CET. Astronaut Bill McArthur will answer the questions submitted by the students over amateur radio.


Furtherwick Park School has accepted to host a question from the Tunisian Scouts in their list of questions (see question 5). This courtesy will offer the Tunisian amateur radio society the opportunity to show the benefits of amateur radio to the VIP who will visit the exhibition set up in Tunis during the 

World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) that will be held from 16 to 18 November 2005.


The downlink signals will be easily readable on 145.800 MHz FM in western Europe. You will hear astronaut Bill McArthur, KC5ACR answering these questions:


1. Joe: Does lack of gravity have an impact on the movement and retention of fluids in the body?  If it does, how do you prepare yourself for this?  


2. Megan: Do chemical reactions in a micro-gravity or gravity free situation change their rate of reaction? 


3. Matt: Can weather systems such as lightening, hurricanes and tropical storms be seen from space and does lightening move vertically from the cloud layer towards the upper atmosphere? 


4. Devon: What is your favorite music and who chooses what gets played in the space station? 


5. Here is a question on behalf of the Tunisian Scouts. What is the most marvelous phenomenon one can observe only from space?


6. Bernadette: Does the weight (mass) of the shuttle affect the station orbit when it locks on and does it have an effect upon any artificial gravity system in place?


7. Danny: What things have you taken with you from home and why? 


8. Leanne: When do you need to wear a space suit and what is the material made of and is it heavy? 


9. Stevie-Anne: If your radio system failed, do you have anything to use to contact the Earth? 


10. Jack: If you looked out of the window for one minute what things would you see? 


11. Ryan: What exercises do you do in space? 


12. Bradley: Who has been your role model or inspiration? 


13. Jennifer: If you lit a candle, would the flame remain vertical if you turned the candle on its side and does the colour of the flame alter? 


14. Sam: What is the daily routine on the space station? 


15. Alice: How long does it take to get used to the loss of gravity?


16. Josh: When you’re in space, how do you cope with all the water that escapes from your body? 


17. Jonathon: Do you feel it will be hard to adjust when you come back to Earth?


18. Ashley: What is your biggest fear when in space? 


19. Bernadette: Is your diet supplemented to compensate for any loss in bone density? 


20. Megan: How does it make you feel when you look at Earth from space? 


21. Joe: What is the funniest thing that has happened to you in space?



The same day, another ARISS School Contact is scheduled with “Istituto Comprensivo Francesco Negri” located Casale Monferrato, in the north-western part of Italy, nearby the river “Po”, exactly between the two cities Milano and Torino. Casale Monferrato was built by the Romans. It was located along the salt-route between ancient Rome and the center of Europe. Today, agriculture is very important in the economy of the area, above all the production of the famous Italian long grain rice.


This contact will be done by telebridge. The ARISS ground station WH6PN, run in Honolulu by Nancy Rocheleau, will call the ISS at 10:28 UTC and the signals will be relayed to Italy, courtesy of MCI, the world telephone company.


Good luck to both schools!



Gaston Bertels, ON4WF

ARISS-Europe chairman