September 1, 2008


Saturday 30 August 2008 at 13:50 UTC, i.e. 15:50 local time, the Schulehaus Feld 1 in Richterswil, Switzerland, established a telebridge contact with US astronaut Greg Chamitoff, KD5PKZ, on board the International Space Station, via the ARISS Ground Station VK4KHZ in Glenden, Queensland, Australia operated by Shane Lynd. Will Marchant was the moderator of the contact.

The children had been involved in different ways in the programming of this ARISS event. Drawings, plays, researches and multimedia products have been produced and collected and were on show the day of the contact.

Mario Malacarne, HB9IRM, the contact coordinator for this ISS contact, decided in favour of a bridge contact. The questions were read by the children. The contact site was located in the sports hall where a more than 500 audience of students, parents, teachers, visitors and the mass media could follow the contact. In addition, Mario Malacarne set up an audio link outside the sports hall for the visitors of the special event day at Schulehaus Feld 1.

13:50 UTC, right on schedule, contact with NA1SS was established by VK4KHZ. Astronaut Greg Chamitoff answered 21 questions. Answering one of the questions, the astronaut explained that they have systems and filters everywhere on board the ISS that are constantly circulating and cleaning the air and that it is very clean and comfortable. The signal from the ISS was absolutely clear and loud all the time at the schools contact site.

Two TV stations (SF DRS Aktuell Schweizer Fernsehen, Regional Fernsehen Tele Zrich), one radio station (Radio Zrichsee) and three newspapers (Zrichsee Zeitung, Neue Zrcher Zeitung NZZ, Tages-Anzeiger) covered the event.

The audio from this contact was fed into EchoLink by Tony Hutchison, VK5ZAI, and into IRLP by Doug Leblanc, VE1LDL.

Congratulations to the Richterswil team!

73, Peter Kofler, IN3GHZ, ARISS mentor

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