January 28, 2009


An International Space Station school contact has been planned with participants at Ecole & College Jean XXIII, Pamiers, France on 30 January 2009. The event is scheduled to begin at approximately 13.13 UTC, which is 14.13 CEWT.

The contact will be a direct between stations NA1SS and F0CUQ. The contact should be audible over most of
Europe. Interested parties are invited to listen in on the 145.800 MHz downlink. The participants are expected to conduct the conversation in English.

Participating students are 10 - 12 years old. The High school is called Jean XXIII, which is the name of the famous Pope from 1960. The school is located in Pamiers, in the Ariege department, at the foot of the
Pyrenees, in the south-west of France. Pamiers counts about 15,000 inhabitants: it's the home town of musician Gabriel FAURE. The school has  220 children in the primary school and 300 in the secondary school. The school has two extra-curricular options : one's a football team and the other provides training as a fireman.

Some students worked on space and planets last year and a radio contact had been planned with French astronaut Leopold EYHARTS, which unfortunately didn't happen. Students are very happy and pleased to have the opportunity to talk with an astronaut about his job and they thank him very much for answering their questions.

The control operator will ask as many of the following questions as time allows:
1. Is it the first time you have been in space?
2. How was your trip from the Earth to the space station? How long did it take?
3. How many astronauts are there in the shuttle?
4. How long have you been an astronaut?
5. When you were a child, did you want to be an astronaut?
6. How long do you have to stay in space?
7. How do you communicate with your family?
8. What clothes do you wear? Are your spacesuits comfortable?
9. Do you have pets?
10. Do you do any sport?
11. What happens if you are sick? Do you have medicine to treat yourself?
12. Is there a time difference in space?
13. What is the temperature outside? And in the space station?
14. How do you generate and store electricity?
15. How much time does it take you to go around the Earth?
16. What do you do with your rubbish?
17. How does your day at the station go?
18. What is life like in zero gravity?
19. Do you ever get out of the spaceship? How do you manage to do so?
20. Does the Earth look beautiful from space?

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