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New Zealand Prime Minister to speak to the ISS

Date : 18 / 02 / 2009
Author : Tony Hutchison - VK5ZAI

On Wed, 25 Feb at 07:31 UTC, 6:31 pm EAST students from The Chatham Public School will be speaking to Commander Mike Fincke on the ISS. The venue for the contact will be the studios of Radio 2RE in Taree. Craig VK4SSB who is employed by Radio 2RE applied to ARISS on behalf of the Chatham School some 2 years ago for this linkup with the ISS to be held at the 2RE studios.

It's believed that this is the first ARISS contact that's been done from a broadcast studio. Craig, VK4SSB has been working with Tony, VK5ZAI and has put a lot of effort into the publicity behind this amateur radio event. The NZ Prime Minister, the Hon. John Key (pictured right) has accepted Craig's invitation to pass on greetings from the Asia/Pacific region to Mike Fincke on the ISS and to ask the first question.

The contact will be aired over the Super Radio network of 38 stations ranging from 2SM in Sydney to 4GY in Gympie and out to 2BH in Broken Hill on Thursday 26 Feb. The radio link between the ISS and Earth for Chatham School will be handled by the Amateur Radio telebridge station K6DUE at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, USA ARISS will be linking up two other Australian schools in the following weeks as well, they are Padthaway Primary School in the SE of South Australia and the Kalori Catholic School in Wallaroo also in Sth Australia.

Dates for these have not been scheduled yet but it's expected to be mid March. Several members of the ISS crew have been having a competition to see who can speak to the greatest number of schools during their mission. It looks like Mike Fincke my come out on top when he returns to Earth in April. He has been averaging around 3 schools per week on this mission; as well as setting the SSTV up at times, along with activating the ISS cross band repeater on many occasions.

The repeater has had a lot of Australian traffic on it over the last week but you must use doppler correction on the 70cm uplink to be successful.



 

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