ARISS Contact planned for NASA astronaut Catherine Coleman KC5ZTH and school in Switzerland


An ARISS School Contact is scheduled Monday 7 March at 14:34 UTC  (15:34 CEWT) for Schulhaus Dorf, Richterswil, Switzerland.


Richterswil is situated at the lake of Zurich. Although it is not very big it has 4 train stations and a direct access to the highway, which is part of the national street system. Some of the 11000 inhabitants work in Zurich, which is about 30 kilometers away. Others are employed at one of the local firms or have jobs in the neighboring towns and villages. There are five schools and several kindergartens.


Richterswil hosts its own museum and many different organizations such as sports clubs, a women’s club, a parent’s organization, a theatre group, several choirs and more. Every year on the second Saturday in November the “Raebechilbi” takes place. It is a huge turnip fair (actually the biggest in the world), where pictures made of turnips and lit by candles are pulled through the town by school children and the members of our many clubs. This event is always visited by thousands of people, locals as well as tourists.


The Breiten school is attended by 130 children aged from 10 to 13 years. They are split up into six classes (grades 4 to 6).  Staff includes 8 teachers, a social worker and 2 janitors.  The school is situated next to the church and the hospital.  The class takes new challenges very willingly. The goal is to get more information about space and space travel, offering the students the opporunity to become aware of a wonderful and interesting world around ours.  As non native speakers it is also a good opportunity of practicing English – a language our students learned during the last two years.


The contact will be a direct, operated by HB9IRM.


Downlink signals will be audible over Europe on 145.800 MHz FM.


The conversation will be conducted in English. Students will ask as many of following questions as time allows.


1. Tim: How old do you have to be to go into space? What are physical requirements, if any?


2. Eunice: How do you feel when the rocket launches?


3. Jannis: How do you like the food in the space and how do you prepare   it?


4. Ruben: What’s your favourite movie?


5. Pascal: Do you have children, a family or a wife? Do you miss them?


6. Lea: How does it feel in zero gravity?


7. Staschia: Was the training difficult?


8. Alexandra: What are your plans when this mission is over?


9. Sabrina: Why did you choose to become an astronaut?


10. Andri: How do you feel, when you return to earth?


11. Maud: How do you feel spending Christmas in space?


12. Xenia: Was it difficult to become an astronaut and to pass the exams?


13. Dardan: How do you feel when you see the Earth from space?


14. Dominik: What did you originally train to be?


15. Nyuga: What kind of experiments are you doing at the moment?


16. Jil: What do you wear while you are in the ISS? Is it comfortable?


17. Yaël: Is it difficult to live so closely together? Do you have any rules to help you?


18. Gian-Luca: What is the temperature in space?


19. Raphael: How does it feel, when you don’t know which way is up and which way is down?


20. Chiara: How long does it take you to put on your spacesuit?


21. Daila: Are there any sounds in space or is it quiet?


22. Laurant: What is it like to be outside the ISS?


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