October 11, 2009




An Expedition 20 ARISS school contact is planned for ISS Commander Frank De Winne with participants at Ecole Catholique Sœur Geneviève, Gao, Mali.


This Catholic School is located in the city Gao, chief city of 7th administrative Region of Mali Republic in Western Africa. The Gao Region is in Northern Mali, like Tombouctou and Kidal. Population is mainly Sonrhaï, Peulh, Bozo, Touareg and Arabs. Predominant religion is Islam.


The school was founded September 1952 by the Congregation of the Guardian Angel Sisters. Originally, the school was for girls only, with boarding-school and kindergarten. Since 1968, it is mixed. It was known under several names : Gao V Private, Djoulabougou Private and since March 1st 2003 Ecole Catholique Sœur Geneviève. The school is open to children from six to eighteen years old, without racial nor religious discrimination. It has a computer room, a library, a conference room, a basketball ground and a green playground. .


Since 2008, the school participates to the UNICEF educational programme for hygiene at school. In school year 2008-2009, there are 1088 pupils, 500 girls and 588 boys, in 18 classes tended by 24 male and 3 female teachers.


UNICEF is short for "United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund". UNICEF is currently running the WaSH campaign around projects for "Water, Sanitation and Hygiene". Belgian astronaut Frank De Winne is UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, hence the name of his ISS Mission: "OasISS".


Thursday 15 October 2009 is UNICEF's "Hand-washing Day". At approximately 16:30 UTC, which is also Mali time, ARISS ground station K6DUE, located in Goddard Space Flight Center, Maryland, will call Frank De Winne ON1DWN for a scheduled contact. The space talk with Mali will be conducted in French and distributed on *AMSAT* and *JK1ZRW* EchoLink servers.


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


1. Par quel moyen avez-vous rejoint la station spatiale ? Si vous tombez en panne comment vous depannez-vous?

With which vehicle did you travel to space? How do you repair if you have trouble?


2. Est-ce que vous avez des bagages avec vous?

Do you have luggage with you?


3. Comment vous lavez-vous ? Est-ce qu’il y a des latrines ?

How do you wash yourself? Do you have a toilet?


4. Comment faites-vous la lessive et la vaisselle ?

How do you wash your clothes and wash up dishes?


5. Est-ce qu’il y a le jour et la nuit ? Voyez-vous le soleil ?

Is there day and night? Do you see the Sun?


6. Combien d’heures travaillez-vous ? Pour qui travaillez vous ?

How many hours do you work? For whom do you work?


7. Est-ce que vous faites du sport ?

Do you do sport?


8. Comment faites-vous la cuisine ? Comment vous vous approvisionnez ?

How do you do the cooking? How do you do shopping?


9. Est-ce que vous marchez dans l’espace ?

Do you walk in space?


10. Quelle distance vous sépare de la terre ?

How far are you from Earth?


11. Comment vous vous soignez ?

How do you take care of yourself?


12. Quelle sorte d’études fait-on pour devenir astronaute ?

Which kind of studies are needed to become an astronaut?


13. Comment communiquez-vous avec votre famille ?

How do you talk to your family?


14. Comment rejoignez-vous la terre ?

How will you go back to Earth?


15. Habitez-vous une maison là-bas ?

Do you live in a house there?


16. Comment sont faites les maisons là- bas ?

How are the houses there?


17. Comment est la porte du ciel ?

How is the door of the sky?


18. On fait combien de jours avant d’arriver dans l’espace ?

How many days does it take to go to space?


19. Y a-t-il l’école la-bas pour les enfants ?

Do children go to school there?


20. On parle quelle langue dans l’espace ?

Which language is spoken in 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 Chairman