November 24, 2005




“Science on Stage” is a programme for European Science Teachers. This year, the Festival goes on 21-25 November at CERN (European Nuclear Research Center) in Geneva. 300 Science Teachers from 25 countries present experiments and teaching methods.

ESA, the European Space Agency, has invited students from 6 different countries for a 3 days visit at CERN during the Festival. ESA has asked ARISS to set up an ARISS School Contact during this visit.

Tuesday 22 November 2005, 17 students had the opportunity to participate to the Space Talk. The students were  from Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Italy, Norway and Portugal.

They had prepared these questions:

1. My name is Shana.  When you are up in space, looking down at the Earth, can you see the air pollution or do you need a special device? OVER

2. My name is Mark. When I sleep I turn around in my bed to be comfortable. Do you turn around when you sleep in space? OVER

3. My name is Anna-Maria. What can the astronauts eat in the Space Station? Are there any restrictions in their diet? OVER

4. My name is Valerio. If you put your thumb over the Sun, from the ISS, can you see the solar corona? Can you see the stars in the background? OVER

5. My name is Frederik. Are you able to watch extreme weather on the earth from the ISS? OVER

6. My name is João. What was the biggest difficulty that you have experienced in space so far? OVER

7. My name is Sanne.  The calcium in the bones of astronauts is being broken down as fast as on Earth but bone tissue is very slowly produced. Why is this? OVER

8. My name is Mark. When did you become interested in spaceflight? OVER

9. My name is Eleni. In what way can manned spaceflight contribute to the study of environmental and ecological problems, such as the ozone hole or greenhouse effect? OVER

10. My name is Vassil. When you look outside of the ISS what is similar to looking outside of an airplane and what is totally different (besides floating)? OVER

11. My name is Sarah. Is it possible to see damages on the earth, like earthquakes, oil spills or reduction of rain forests? OVER

12. My name is Monica. Do you now feel the same person you were before going into space? OVER

13. My name is Hans. What protects a shuttle against the dangerous radiation of sun flares? When they are powerful can’t they get through the protection shields? OVER

14. My name is Sofie. Do you feel safe in space or are you afraid of accidents? OVER

15. My name is Keramida. What are the qualifications that somebody needs in order to become an astronaut? OVER

16. My name is Valerio. How long is your stay in orbit? Do you have some privacy? How many are you together and what space do you have in total? OVER

17. My name is Jannicke. Can you describe what it’s like to walk outside the ISS, to repair something for instance? OVER

18. My name is Sofia. How is the supply of Oxygen regulated in the Space Station? OVER

ESA’s planning wanted the space contact to take place on Tuesday 22 November 2005 in the afternoon. There was a pass of the ISS over ARISS ground station NN1SS at Goddard Space Flight Center at 15:18 UTC. Therefore the solution was to set up a “telebridge”.

The contact was a success. Bill McArthur answered 17 questions during the 9 minutes long contact. See audio recording hereto appended.

The radio at NN1SS was operated by Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, Will Marchant, KC6ROL acted as moderator and Gaston Bertels, ON4WF presented ARISS to the audience and conducted operations at CERN.

Besides the 30 students invited by ESA, many science teachers attended the event in CERN’s main auditorium.

CERN’s technical team did an excellent job setting up the telebridge which, as usually, was offered courtesy of MCI.

Members of CERN’s amateur radio club also assisted : Claudia Wulz, F5NYQ, Jaakko Koivuniemi, OH7BF and Betty Magnin, F8IOC.

The space talk was relayed realtime to several continents. Dieter Schliemann, KX4Y provided the feed into Echolink and Wayne Harasimovitch, VE1WPH set up the feed to IRLP.

Congratulations and many thanks for a job well done.


Gaston Bertels, ON4WF

ARISS-Europe chairman


CERN audio (mp3)