Date : 05 / 06 / 2017
Author : Jim Linton – VK3PC
An excellent Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact was held with 19 questions being asked by cadets at the Australian Air League (AAL) South Australia Wing, Elizabeth, South Australia. The AAL is for boys and girls aged 8-18 years of age, founded in 1934 to encourage an interest in aviation as a career, or as a hobby.
Gathered for the hook-up were 100 including Air Force personnel. All observed a minute’s silence in respect of one of their staff, an experienced pilot killed with two others the day before when their Cessna Conquest crashed shortly after take-off from Renmark airport. Then the ARISS contact on May 31 began, despite initial difficulties with the new phone system that were overcome by Australian ARISS Coordinator Shane Lynd VK4KHZ. There was great audio from astronaut Thomas Pesquet KG5FYG (pictured) who used the callsign NA1SS via the Santa Rosa Junior College Amateur Radio Club W6SRJ telebridge.
Among questions asked by the cadets was the space junk hazard, the experiments conducted, the training required to be involved, how a 3D printer element acted in zero gravity space, through to more personal matters like food and having a haircut in space. Thomas KG5FYG also talked about the views he had from space, achievements being made, his spare time activity and the return to earth.
Thank you to Bill Hillendahl KH6GJV and Don Dalby KE6UAY who were at the W6SRJ telebridge from 2am local time, and Shane VK4KHZ who moderated the contact.