December 31, 2008


An International Space Station Expedition 18 ARISS school contact has been planned with participants at Technopolis, Mechelen, Belgium on Saturday 3 January 2009. The event is scheduled to begin at approximately 10.35 UTC, which is 11.35 CEWT.

The contact will be a telebridge between stations NA1SS and VK4KHZ. The contact should be audible over eastern Australia. Interested parties are invited to listen in on the 145.800 MHz downlink. Audio from the contact should also be available via the AMSAT conference on EchoLink and via the 9010 Discovery reflector on IRLP. The participants are expected to conduct the conversation in English.

Technopolis is a permanent platform for science and technology in Mechelen, Flanders, Belgium.  The mission of Technopolis is to bring science and technology to the people. For this purpose Technopolis offers permanent and temporary exhibitions, organises workshops, school activities and other outreach activities for 4 to 99 years old, a Science Week and Science Festival, an annual exhibition at the Royal Palace in Brussels and many activities for a variety of organisations (governmental, private and educational). Technopolis is also involved in a broad range of European projects to promote science and technology to a broad audience. The radio contact with ISS will be an extra activity to promote scientific and technical studies to the target group of schoolchildren and students.

Participants will ask as many of the following questions as time allows:

1. How long could I live in ISS as a boy of 12 years old, without becoming ill?

2. How is it to make a walk in space?

3. Can you still hear the Big Bang?

4. What do you have to do if you have to do pipi in space?

5. Since when are you an astronaut?

6. Do you recycle your garbage or do you throw it outside?

7. How many days do you stay in the ISS?

8. Are you not afraid to fall to earth when you go outside the ISS?

9. How long do you have to study to become an astronaut?

10. How do you spend your free time in a space station?

11. What do you eat?

12. How do you take a bath?

13. When was your first spaceflight and how did you like it?

14. How does the launch of the Space Shuttle feel like?

15. Can you just go outside to fix something?

16. What are your feelings during launch, when you leave the earth?

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 onboard 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.

Gaston Bertels, ON4WF

ARISS-Europe chairman