Friday, 5 October 2012

"Good morning. My name is Greg"

From ARISS newsletter 
On Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 7:13 UTC, i.e. 9:13 CEST, students of Complex of Technical Schools, Kolo, Poland established ARISS contact with astronaut Akihiko Hoshide KE5DNI onboard the International Space Station. Astronaut Aki Hoshide operated with the ISS callsign OR4ISS. This was a direct contact performed by amateur radio station SP3PGZ, located in the school.

Kolo is a 650 years old, small city located in the central region of Poland. Zespol Szkol Technicznych (Complex of Technical Schools, abr. ZST) in Kolo is a modern, dynamic and constantly developing school with more than 60 years tradition, with a well-qualified staff. The school is one of the largest secondary schools in the region. Currently they teach more than 1000 students between 16 and 20 years old.
Local School Amateur Radio Club SP3PGZ was established in 1976 and since then it has been active on many amateur radio bands. The main goals of the club are: promoting shortwave radio communication as a hobby for young people, cooperation in organizing local events and taking part in competitions. Now they established the ARISS school contact.

The contact took place at Centre of Information in the school, where an audience of about 30 visitors and media participated to the ARISS event. Before the contact, host of the event Dr. Armand Budzianowski and students Konrad Kustosik and Mateusz Karulak presented  visitors and media information about ARISS and about the students’ preparation to this contact with the ISS via Ham Radio.

At 7:13 UTC, contact was established with OR4ISS by SP3PGZ station. Mr. Greg Walichnowski SP3CSD, the radio contact operator, exchanged welcome greetings with astronaut Akihiko Hoshide KE5DNI. Using the VHF radio in the Service Module, Aki answered 18 questions from the students. To close the contact, students dedicated this event to the memory of all those brave men and women like Yuri Gagarin, Neil Armstrong or Sally Ride and to all ISS crew members who are striving to fulfil humanity’s dream of conquering the universe.

The event was covered by several TV stations and other media. There was 2 minutes live breaking news on wide-World in Polish language television TVN24. 

Two movies produced by TVN24 are available here:,43/good-morning-my-name-is-greg-uczniowie-rozmawiali-z-kosmonauta,277673.html.

I myself successfully managed to capture a fair portion of the downlink myself. The Polish ARISS organisation have just posted a full video of the contact. (We won't mention that they appeared to lose contact before the dedication at the end, as it was a nice touch)


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