ARISS contact planned with students in Gdansk, Poland


Saturday December 31, 2011 a radio contact is planned with students in Historical Museum of Gdansk in Poland. Expectedly, the contact will be established at approximately 14:04 UTC, which is 15:04 CEWT. Amateur radio station SP2ZIE will call OR4ISS.


The Gdansk Historical Museum was founded in 1970 as the Museum of History of the City of Gdansk. At the beginning, Museum was limited to the sixteenth century Main Town Hall. Presently it includes several famous monuments of the Gdansk's architecture.


The Historical Museum of Gdansk gathered collections documenting the city's history since the Middle Ages to modern times. It offers visitors exhibits of significant historical and cultural value. The Museum also organizes exhibitions of national and foreign origin. It is responsible for publishing exhibition catalogues, for the renovation and restoration of various works of art, including monuments, but most importantly it offers lessons dedicated to the rich history of the city and provides facilities for meetings, seminars and lectures. One of its goals is cooperation with other cultural institutions.


This year the Museum actively supports the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the birth of one of the greatest personalities in the history of Gdansk - the astronomer Johannes Hevelius. His passion greatly contributed to advancements in our knowledge of stellar objects travelling across the night sky. Therefore, the Museum organized several exhibitions, presenting Hevelius' achievements and research instruments. Also presented is the modern space exploration history, related to spaceflight and the space age in general. Furthermore, the Museum is also involved in building a "pulsar clock" - an extremely accurate device, used for the study of pulsars - rotating neutron stars.


Performing an ARISS contact with one of the crew members of the International Space Station perfectly fits in the anniversary celebrations. The event will provide a direct contact between the citizens of Gdansk and an astronaut, who is considered by the public as the modern equivalent of the great explorers, expanding the horizon of our knowledge, reflecting the work of astronomer Johannes Hevelius.


The ARISS contact from the Museum will foster interest in astronautics, astronomy and space exploration in general - especially with the young generation. Who knows, maybe in the audience there will be a future scientist who, in due time, will become the next Johannes Hevelius...


The Polish Press Agency (PAP) supports this event.


The conversation with NASA astronaut Daniel C. Burbank KC5ZSX will be conducted in English. Downlink signals with the astronaut’s answers will be audible in Europe on 145.800 MHz FM.


The event will be live broadcast in streaming video on


The questions will be asked by students from different schools in the Gdansk region.


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


1. Is it true that various places on the station can sometimes host unwanted colonies of bacteria and mold? Are they a subject of research?

2. Is there currently an experiment on the station that involves growing protein crystals and if yes, are they different from the ones grown on Earth?

3. Are you doing an experiment on the station that involves the facility studies of fermentation processes in space?

4. Does your stay on board the International Space Station cause problems within your circulatory system?

5. Can astronauts grow their own vegetables on the ISS for eating? Have you done it?

6. What possibilities does the lack of gravity grant?

7. How does it feel to be flying in microgravity?

8. What were the different steps of assembling the ISS?

9. Do astronauts get earaches when being launched into space as I do when I'm flying on a plane?

10. Did you dream to be an astronaut when you were a child?

11. How do you feel when spaceship engines are starting?

12. How are you prepared for potential dangers on board the ISS?

13. Is it possible to see the Great Wall of China from the ISS? What else is well visible from Low Earth Orbit?

14. Are NASA astronauts involved in designing new private spacecrafts like SpaceX?

15. Do you celebrate national holidays on the Station, and if yes, how?

16. Looking at the Earth, how would you express your personal message to the inhabitants of this pale blue dot?

17. Do you prefer to be on Earth or in space?

18. I'm a student in the Polish Air Force Academy and I'd like to know what would be the best way to become a space-conqueror in the future?

19. Can you see northern lights from the ISS?

20. If you had two wishes as to how to make life and work on the ISS even more enjoyable and comfortable, what would they be?


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