ARISS School Contact  21 March 2012, HB9SPACE


Wednesday 21 March 2012 at 08 :39 UTC, 09 :39 CEWT, Swiss Air Force Museum Clin d’Ailes, located on the Swiss Airforce Base in Payerne, Switzerland, established an ARISS contact with ESA astronaut André Kuipers, PI9ISS, aboard the International Space Station. Astronaut André Kuipers operated with the ISS callsign OR4ISS. This was a direct contact performed by the Amateur radio Club station HB9SPACE, located in the museum.


Located in Payerne, Switzerland, the museum of military aviation "Clin d'Ailes" shows the military aeronautics of the second half of the XXth century. The president of the Museum Foundation is Claude Nicollier, HB9CN, first Swiss Astronaut. The HB4FR “Clin d’Ailes” Swiss Air Force HAM-Radioclub wants to foster youngsters’ interest in sciences, technology and radio.


The Centre de Formation de la Base Aérienne de Payerne (Swiss Air Force Base) is located in the town of Payerne, 40 km southwest of Bern, in the french speaking part of Switzerland. This centre offers young people an apprenticeship in a well-equipped environment. Four teachers are taking care of 30 students, aged between 15 and 20 years. All of them were involved in the ARISS event. Their studies will procure them a Certificate of Apprenticeship in Electronics or Polymecanics and a Certificate of Maturity. As part of the ARISS QSO preparation, the students had to realize a stratospheric balloon project. They equipped the balloon with video and photo cameras, sensors and beacons and launched it one week ahead of the ARISS QSO. The students could present beautiful pictures and videos to the audience attending the ARISS contact.


At 08:39 UTC, contact with OR4ISS was established by HB9SPACE, operated by Bertrand Bladt, HB9SLO. Swiss Astronaut Claude Nicollier, HB9CN, welcomed Astronaut André Kuipers and handed the mike over to the first student. All 20 questions prepared by the students were answered by André Kuipers. To close the communication, Claude Nicollier addressed a great thank you to André Kuipers. A big applause underlined André Kuipers finals words. The conversation with ESA Astronaut André Kuipers was conducted in English. Audio was excellent and the signal from the ISS was loud and clear without loss of any word during the whole communication.


120 people were present to follow the communication on site. We noted several civil and academic personalities as well as representatives of the ITU, Swiss OFCOM and Swiss Amateur Radio Clubs.


A live video streaming was performed by the Swiss Online Media 20 Minutes: www., using the signals produced by Swiss Amateur TV (SwissATV) group.


The Swiss TV reported about the ARISS event during the 21 March Regional News at 19:00 Swiss Time.


The local Radio Station Radio Fribourg covered the event starting one week ahead with interviews and reports, many of them at the most important listening rate.


The local TV station la Tele also covered the event.


The Swiss Radio will broadcast a report Tuesday morning 27 march at 07:00 Local Time.


The following Newspapers covered the event starting one week ahead of the QSO:

La Liberté (regional newspaper)

La Gruyère (regional newspaper)

Le Républicain (local newspaper)

La Broye (local newspaper)

24 heures (newspaper covering  the french part of Switzerland)

20 minutes (Swiss free daily newspaper)


The Swiss 20 Minutes Online Media published two reports:


as well as two videos:


The following online reports are available:



Here you can find more photos and reports:




Herbert Aeby, HB9BOU

President "Clin d'Ailes"

Swiss Air Force Museum

HAM Radio Club HB4FR

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audio mp3