CONTACT FOR DUTCH ASTRONAUT ANDRE KUIPERS
Astronauts are extensively trained for the many duties they have to face during a space mission onboard the International Space Station. These tasks are related to the building and maintenance of the Station, as well as to the scientific experiments performed onboard. Amateur Radio educative schoolcontacts are among the activities of the astronauts and ARISS training is part of their programme.
Exactly the same
amateur radio equipment which is onboard the Space Station is operational in
the copy of the ISS Service module at
ARISS simulation contacts follow the same procedure as ARISS school contacts. Questions are prepared by students and submitted to the astronaut before the contact. Local radioamateurs set up the communication facilities and perform the contact in the school.
between JSC and the school uses the IRLP network. W5RRR connects to an IRLP
node in the
Technopolis® is a permanent platform for science and
technology in Mechelen,
André Kuipers kindly answered following questions:
1. Did you do many experiments when you were onboard the ISS?
2. What was the first thing you did when you returned to earth?
3. How does an astronaut go to the bath room ?
4. What is your greatest fear about what might happen to you in space?
5. What is the temperature in the ISS? Is it stable?
6. Are there plans for an automated space station without astronauts onboard? Or is there still hope to have a job as an astronaut?
7. How do you live with many people in such a small place?
8. What if you need a haircut while you are in space?
9. How do you sleep in space?
10. What do you think about space tourism?
11. What if you break your leg?
12. How do you wash yourself?
13. When astronauts are homesick, what can they do about it ?
14. Are you afraid to bump into a satellite?
15. Can you play chess in space?
16. Is it quiet in the ISS? Or is there a constant noise?
17. Does your mobile phone work in space?
18. Do you have a certain ritual to bring you luck?
19. Can you see the whole earth when you look outside?
20. Can you throw a boomerang in space? Will it return?
An audio recording of the contact is hereto appended.
Regional Television and a national newspaper covered the event.
Gaston Bertels, ON4WF