July 21, 2009


An International Space Station school contact has been planned with participants at Ugo Guidi school, Forte dei Marmi, Lucca, Italy on 23 July. The event is scheduled to begin at approximately 19:35 UTC, i.e. 21:35 CEST

The contact will be direct between OR4ISS and IQ5VR. The contact should be audible over most of Europe. Interested parties are invited to listen in on the 145.800 MHz FM downlink. The contact is expected to be conducted in English.

The participation of 1st grade Ugo Guidi school was the result of a misfortune that recently struck the town of Viareggio. On the evening of June 29, 2009, a train carrying liquid petroleum gas derailed while approaching  the Viareggio railway station. The explosion following caused much devastation to the area. The Istituto Comprensivo Marco Polo-Viani, located only a few hundred meters from the blast, was on the ARISS waiting list. They were not able to host the event because the explosion struck relatives and friends of some members of the school team.  Instead, local Amateur Radio Club Station IQ5VR (ARI Versilia)  provided the technical support for the event, now scheduled at Ugo Guidi school. Students are aged 6-11 (primary) and 12-14 (secondary).

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

1.  How important is the amateur radio station on board the ISS?
2.  What projects do you carry out on board the International Space Station?
3.  Who pays for all the costs of the ISS project?
4.  What is it like living in a small place like the space shuttle for a few days?
5.  Would you like to participate in a journey to the Moon?
6.  What does the ISS inside smell like?
7.  Is there a magnetic field in the ISS orbit?
8.  Can you breathe normally on board the ISS?
9.  How do you cope with the alternation of day and night every 45 minutes?
10. How long did the training last in order to participate in this mission?
11. What do you do if you get sick in Space?
12. What do your family and your friends think about your job?
13. What is the most dangerous moment during the mission, the take-off or the landing?
14. What do you eat and drink?
15. Would it be possible to produce artificial gravity on the ISS?
16. Is it difficult and dangerous to pass through the atmosphere before landing?
17. Is the perception of time onboard the ISS the same as on Earth?
18. What was the most spectacular moment during your stay in Space?
19. How often can you communicate with your family on Earth?
20. What does it feel like to live without gravity?

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 Chairman