August 28, 2008


An International Space Station Expedition 17 ARISS school contact has been planned with participants at Schulehaus Feld 1 Richterswil, Switzerland on 30 August. The event is scheduled to begin at approximately 1353 UTC.

The contact will be a telebridge contact between stations NA1SS and VK4KHZ.

Richterswil is situated at the lake of Zurich. Although it is not very big it has 4 train stations and direct access to the "Autobahn", the freeway, which is part of the national street system. Some of the approximately 11000 inhabitants work in Zurich, which is about 30 kilometers away. Others are employed at one of the local firms or have jobs in the neighboring towns and villages. There are five schools and several kindergardens. Richterswil hosts its own museum and many different organizations such as sports clubs, a woman's club, a parent's organization, a theatre group, several choirs and more. Every year on the second Saturday in November the “Raebechilbi” takes place. It is a huge turnip fair (actually the biggest in the world), where pictures made of turnips and lit by candles are pulled through the town by school children and the members of our many clubs. This event is always visited by thousands of people, locals as well as tourists.

The school teaches about 170 children aged from
6 to 13 years. They are split up into eight classes (grades 1 to 6). Staff includes 15 teachers and 3 janitors. Our school building includes a gym and a swimming hall, which is also used by the other schools in Richterswil.

Participants will ask as many of the following questions as time allows:
1. Is this your first mission on the ISS?
2. What do you feel when the rocket takes off? Are you happy, scared or just excited?
3. Do you miss your family? Are you homesick?
4. Is it comfortable to live in zero gravity or do you like it better on Earth?
5. How are you feeling psychologically in Space?
6. What does it smell like inside the ISS?
7. Do you sleep well in your sleeping bag? Is it comfortable?
8. How do you wash or shower?
9. What do you eat and how do you prepare and cook your food?
10. Is it difficult to live so closely together? Do you have any rules to help you?
11. Are there any sounds in Space or is it quiet?
12. Can you see other planets from the ISS?
13. What is the temperature in space?
14. What is it like to be outside the ISS?
15. How long does it take you to put on your space suit?
16. Did you already want to become an astronaut when you were a child?
17. What do you have to do to become an astronaut and how long does it take to train?
18. How old do you have to be to go into Space? What are the physical requirements, if any?
19. What happens if the ISS gets damaged?
20. What do you do if someone of the crew is ill or has an accident?
21. What kind of experiments are you doing at the moment?
22. What do you do in your spare time?
23. Are you afraid of reentering the atmosphere when you come back to Earth?
24. Which was the most special experience you've had on the ISS so far?

The audio for this event will be fed into the EchoLink *AMSAT* (101 377) and *JK1ZRW* (277 208) servers. 

Please note that there are automatic breaks in the EchoLink audio transmission every 2.5 minutes during the event and while we listen to preparations going on for this contact. Each audio break is approximately 1 second long.  Please configure your systems to not time out during times of inactivity or ongoing audio transmissions.

This ARISS event will possibly be broadcast through the IRLP "Discovery" Reflector 9010 on the Internet.
It is then available via the "Discovery" Reflectors companion web site . Once on its main page, select "Live Streaming Audio" (left side bar) and follow the prompts.

More directly the URL is as follows:

The audio on the Internet is typically delayed by about two minutes.

ARISS is an international educational outreach program partnering the participating space agencies: NASA, Russian Space Agency, ESA, CNES, JAXA, and CSA, with the AMSAT and IARU organizations from participating countries.

ARISS offers an opportunity for students to experience the excitement of Amateur Radio by talking directly with crewmembers on-board the International Space Station.  Teachers, parents and communities see, first hand, how Amateur Radio and crewmembers on ISS can energize youngsters' interest in science, technology, and learning.  See



Gaston Bertels, ON4WF

ARISS-Europe chairman