18 December 2006


Sunday 17 December 2006 at 18:19 UTC, 19:19 local time, ESA astronaut Christer Fuglesang SA0AFS answered questions of Swedish students from Thunmanskolan, Knivsta, Sweden.


The venue was in the sports hall of Kvistna with several hundred participants. Eskil van Loosdrecht SM5SRR and Thomas Nordlöv had carefully prepared the event and presented the ARISS experimental radio contact with the International Space Station.


When the ARISS groundstation VK4KHZ, located in Glenden, Queensland, Australia and operated by Shane Lynd called NA1SS, Christer Fuglesang came back immediately. Signals were excellent all along the ten minutes pass of the ISS over north-eastern Australia.


Christer answered 13 questions from the students. The conversation was conducted in Swedish. Funglesang is the first Swedish astronaut and enthousiasm in Sweden is topmost. The audience was delighted with hearing Swedish spoken from space.


The contact was broadcast over IRLP and EchoLink. Wayne Harasimovitch VE1WPH, located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada broadcast the audio on IRLP and reported 8 connections in Canada, USA and Sweden. Dieter Schliemann KX4Y, located in Scottsboro,  Alabama, USA, broadcast the contact on EchoLink and reported 50 known connection whereof 25 in Sweden. There were also uncounted listeners on 5 simplex nodes, and 3 repeater nodes.


Dieter also recorded the contact and this mp3 recording is hereto appended.


Many thanks to all volunteers involved in this event, especially Kenneth Ransom N5VHO from JSC, NASA and ARISS Operations Coordinator Tim Bosma W6MU from Santa Rosa, California. Our thanks also to Verizon Conferencing, Inc. which offered the telebridge facilities.


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

Thunmanskolan audio