ARISS-Europe News Bulletin – 22.11.2006




Monday 20 November 2006 at 15:57 UTC (16:57 local time), an ARISS telebridge contact was performed at the Museum for Industry in Mannheim, Germany with ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter DF4TR onboard the International Space Station.


The Museum, which presents Germany’s biggest exhibition on space exploration “Adventure Space Travel”, had opened its doors exclusively to 200 youngsters, 12-20 years old. The visit culminated in a live space talk with German astronaut Thomas Reiter.


On ESA’s request, an ARISS School Contact was set up for Mannheim that afternoon. Since there were no passes of the ISS over Europe, ARISS ground station VK5ZAI in Kingston, south-east coast of Australia, operated the radio contact. Signals were sent to Mannheim by phoneline, courtesy of Verizon Teleconferencing, Inc.


The event in Mannheim was conducted by DASDING, a daily programme for youngsters of SWR, the regional radio broadcast station covering south-west Germany. The station had asked its listeners to propose questions and so 16 questions were selected. The space talk was in German.


The youngsters were very interested in life conditions aboard and asked several questions on food and health, such as:  “What would you do if you suffered a toothache?” – “Thank God I had none so far! When preparing for a flight, we have very extensive medical survey and teeth also are carefully examined. If we would nevertheless suffer a toothache, we have appropriate medical support aboard as well as from ground.”   


Former ESA astronaut Ernst Messerschmid DG2KM also participated to the event, presented pictures of Thomas’ training and answered dozens of questions from an eager to learn audience.


In Mannheim the telebridge was operated by ON4WF who introduced the amateur radio service to the audience and more precisely the satellite and ISS aspects. He commented the extensive participation to the event of many hams from all around the world: Thomas DF4TR, Ernst DG2KM, Tony VK5ZAI, Tim W6MU, Will KC6ROL, Kenneth N5VHO, Sergey RV3DR, Dieter KX4Y, Satoshi JK1ZRW, Wayne VE1WPH, Alessandro DJ0MDO and Rolf DK7FU.


Pictures and an audio recording will be made available as attachments to this Bulletin on the Archives page of ARISS-Europe website


ARISS, Amateur Radio on the International Space Station, an international working group of several amateur radio societies from countries participating to the ISS, provides a free educational outreach programme in collaboration with the Space Agencies, involving a worldwide team of volunteering amateur radio operators.



Gaston Bertels, ON4WF

ARISS-Europe chairman

Mannheim audio
Thomas Reiter training onboard
Thomas Reiter working onboard
Thomas Reiter onboard in space suit