September 24, 2007




Monday 24 September 2007 at 08:00 UTC, i.e. 10:00 local time, the “Heidelberg University for Applied Sciences” in Heidelberg, Germany, established a telebridge contact with US astronaut Clayton Anderson, KD5PLA, on board the International Space Station, via the ARISS Ground Station WH6PN in Hawaii operated by Nancy Rocheleau. Will Marchant was the moderator of the contact.


Heidelberg is located in the northwest corner of the Bundesland Baden-Würtemberg on the banks of the river Neckar. The city is known for its university and its history. The "Heidelberg Man", whose jaw-bone was discovered in 1907, lived there approximately 600,000 years ago; that is probably the earliest evidence of human life in Europe. About 40 AD the area was occupied by the Romans. The beginnings of a permanent settlement go back to the 5th century. The University of Heidelberg, Germany’s oldest and most famous university, was founded in 1386. Today Heidelberg has a population of 135,000 and more than 28,000 students.

The Heidelberg University of Applied Sciences was founded in 1969. As a private university they place considerable value on the individual success of their students. They offer (Under-) Graduate Studies and Master Programmes in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, business engineering, facility management and architecture.

The Heidelberg University of Applied Sciences is involved in building a satellite (Cubesat) called HeidelSat. The satellite will measure cosmic rays.


Professor Achim Gottscheber, the contact coordinator for this ISS contact, decided in favour of a bridge contact. The operator of the contact was Peter Wright, the president of the German Radio Astronomy Society. The questions were read by the students. The audience in the shack room was about 200 people. In addition, the university set up an audio and video link to the main hall.


At 08:00 UTC, right on schedule, contact with NA1SS was established by WH6PN. Astronaut Clayton Anderson answered all the 20 questions in 7 minutes. The astronaut replied for example that they can see the Pyramids of Egypt and the Empire State Building from the ISS.

The signal from the ISS was excellent all the time at the university’s contact site. The astronaut’s voice faded while answering the 20th question.


One TV station, 6 radio stations and 4 newspapers covered the event. The audio was available also via IRLP and Echolink.


Congratulations to the Heidelberg team!


73, Peter Kofler, IN3GHZ, ARISS mentor


Heidelberg audio