30 April 2007




Saturday 28 April 2007 at 14:20 UTC, i.e. 16:20 local time, the "Samuel-von-Pufendorf Gymnasium" in Floeha, Germany, established a radio contact with US astronaut Sunita Williams, KD5PLB, on board the International Space Station.

The "Samuel-von-Pufendorf-Gymnasium" is a co-ed school for students from middle school at age 11 to high school graduation at age 18. At present about 675 students attend the school and are taught by 65 teachers, the main subjects are foreign languages and natural sciences.


The school amateur radio club DL0GYM was founded in 2003. The main purpose is to prepare pupils to pass the amateur radio examination and become licensees. The club station supports education by demonstrating the possibilities of modern amateur radio technologies like packet radio, satellite communication via the "OSCARs", ATV, SSTV and so on. The club cooperates with the German Amateur Radio Club "DARC e.V." and the "Arbeitskreis Amateurfunk in der Schule - AATiS e.V."

Floeha is a small town located near the big city of
Chemnitz in the Bundesland Sachsen. Textile manufacturing is very important for the economy of the region.

14:20 UTC contact with NA1SS was established at the first attempt by the school contact operator Harald Schoenwitz, DL2HSC. Astronaut Sunita Williams answered accurately 18 questions on various topics. The astronaut replied for example that they do not have internet access on board the ISS. The signal was all the time absolutely clear and loud. Then, after the 18th question the coordinator Harald Schoenwitz said Goodbye to the astronaut and let her listen to the applause of the students. The audience in the shack room was about 50 people plus the mass media.


Five newspapers, three radio stations and the regional TV channel MDR covered the event.


An audio recording of the radio contact is hereto appended.


Peter Kofler, IN3GHZ

ARISS mentor


Floeha audio