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ARISS Astronaut Contact a Success

Date : 13 / 01 / 2019
Author : Robert Broomhead - VK3DN

Tony Hutchison VK5ZAI has sent through a report on the very successful contact with Astronaut Mike Fossum KF5AQG from the 25th Australian Scout Jamboree

Tony writes ....

When I was approached over 6 months ago to setup an ARISS connection for the 25th Australian Scout Jamboree AJ2019 I thought this is going to be a challenge if not impossible. The site was to be at a new motorsport park that was still being built in South Australia with no camping facilities no phone and no power and in 6 months time it would have 10,500 Scouts and their leaders camping there. Six months later it all happened and it was an outstanding success. the official number at the camp was over 8,500 Scouts and 1,500 Leaders attended. Saturday 12th Jan. was open day and parents family and Joey Scouts (junior scouts) were invited increasing numbers by an estimated 3,000.

The linkup was via phone to retired astronaut Mike Fossum a distinguished scouter and leader for around 50 years. A conference call was setup by Kenneth between Mike KF5AQG and the stage where the 15 scouts selected would be asking their questions and lines to Shane, VK4KHZ to feed the audio into the BATC site and Bob, VK4DA who would feed the audio to IRLP and EchoLink and another line into the FM radio station on site. At 10.30am on Sat.12 Jan. I started the short introduction speech to introduce Mike and by the time I had finished and handed over to the first scout for his question we had complete silence.

Mike took around half an hour to speak with the 15 scouts and give very detailed answers he then addressed the whole Jamboree before closing. The stage where the event was held was linked via audio and video to another stage several hundred metres away to cater for the crowd. Because of the lack of phone lines into the site I chose to go with a wireless terminal into the mobile network.

This was truly an amazing event with special thanks to Mike Fossum for his dedicated answers and to Kenneth for setting up the conference lines and the other guys mentioned earlier for making this event such a success.

For me personally it was an extra special event, one of the scouts that asked a question was the second generation that I had done this for, her father was the first student that I linked to the Mir space station in 1993 to ask Alex Serebrov a question

Regards Tony Hutchison VK5ZAI

Related Files

Photo - Scouts participating in the contact.

Page Last Updated: Sunday 13 January 2019 at 15:48 hours by Robert Broomhead


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