Brazilian astronaut Marcos Pontes (PY0AEB) has performed an excellent ARISS School Contact with Escola American do Rio de Janeiro, last Wednesday 5 April 2006.


During the 9 minutes long exchange, Marcos answered 17 questions prepared by the students. The radio signals were loud and clear. Students, parents, authorities and media were delighted.


A second ARISS School contact was scheduled for Marcos Pontes Thursday 6 April with Escola Camilo Castelo Branco, Carnaxide, Portugal. This contact was not established. The astronautís heavy scientific workload did not allow him to get on the air.


A new attempt will be done Friday 7 April at 09:32 UTC. It is not sure that Marcos Pontes will be available for the contact. Anyway, the groundstation in the school will call the ISS, hoping that the astronaut can get on the air notwithstanding his crowded timeline.


Downlink frequency is 145.800 MHz and if the contact is established the signals will be readable all over western Europe.


Good luck es 73!


Gaston Bertels, ON4WF

ARISS-Europe chairman