ARISS contact with Bayreuth 14.2., 11:20

February 12, 2023, Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) has received schedule confirmation for an ARISS radio contact between astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and students at the Gymnasium Christian-Ernestinum located in Bayreuth, Germany. ARISS conducts 60-80 of these special amateur radio contacts each year between students around the globe and crew members with ham radio licenses aboard the ISS.

Christian-Ernestinum (GCE) Gymnasium is one of five high schools in the city of Bayreuth, and was founded in 1664 by the sovereign Margrave of Brandenburg, Christian Ernst. GCE teaches Latin and English languages to all students, but also offers French, and Spanish. GCE´s STEM program offers studies in the fields of physics, chemistry and computer science, and maintains a student exchange program with Italy, France and Greece. They also include elective courses on research and advances in the natural sciences, astronomy, electronics and robotics.

GCE, as the host to this ARISS contact, recognizes that direct radio contact with an astronaut in space is a unique and extraordinary experience for students. Therefore, GCE has partnered with local radio club: DARC Ortsverband Bayreuth, whose members have provided technical support by setup/operation of the amateur radio station as well as technical instruction to students during workshops. DARC members also enabled students/teachers to participate in the world-wide, Ham Field Day event, with support for Ham licensing. Students also participated in a special supporting program that included presentations/workshops on astronomy/physics.

This will be a direct contact via Amateur Radio allowing students to ask their questions of Astronaut Koichi Wakata, amateur radio call sign KI5TMN. The downlink frequency for this contact is 145.800 MHz and may be heard by listeners that are within the ISS-footprint that also encompasses the relay ground station. The amateur radio ground station for this contact is at the school in Bayreuth, Germany. Amateur radio operators using call sign DK0BT, will operate the ground station to establish and maintain the ISS connection.

The ARISS radio contact is scheduled for February 14, 2023 at 11:20 am CET (GER) (10:20 UTC). Live stream recording:

As time allows, students will ask these questions:

1. How long does it take to prepare for a space flight? What content is part of the training and what did you enjoy the most?
2. How long will you be on the ISS? And will you fly to the ISS a second time?
3. How does a rocket launch feel and how difficult is it to move in zero gravity?
4. Is the ISS decorated for birthdays or carnival?
5. What’s the first thing you’ll do when you get back to earth?
6. How does weightlessness and the changed day-night rhythm affect the psyche and how do you deal with it personally? Have you been homesick too?
7. Do you have free time on board and how can you use it?
8. What have you personally learned from this mission that you would like to pass on to everyone?
9. How often can you contact friends and family and how is this technically implemented (smartphone, internet, radio)?
10. What do you like best about living on the ISS?
11. Is there privacy on the ISS, e.g. a separate little corner or something similar?
12. How is the air in the ISS?
13. Friends and family aside, is there anything that’s only on earth that you miss?
14. With the photos from the ISS you only ever see the earth, what does the view of the starry sky look like?
15. Can you hear or feel impacts from so called space debris on the ISS?
16. How does the food taste on the ISS and which earthly food do you miss the most?
17. Have you already been involved in an external mission and how is contact with the „spacewalker“ maintained?
18. What do you think of space tourism?
19. What happens to all the equipment after the mission?
20. What do you do during the flight to the ISS and what are the biggest challenges involved?
21. What happens in case of extreme health emergencies?