Conversations Using an Amateur Radio and English
Contact with outer space: a great success!
On January 22nd, fifteen students from Morita Junior High School (located in Fukui City, Fukui Prefecture) used an amateur radio (also known as a “ham radio”), to communicate with an astronaut aboard the International Space Station (ISS), approximately 400 kilometres away from earth. Using English to converse with the astronauts, all the students felt closer to the cosmos.
From 2000, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) formed the international education program, ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station); this is the second time an institution within Fukui Prefecture took part in the program.
With approximately fifty people, including other students, parents, and guardians, watching in anticipation, at around five o’clock in the afternoon, contact was initiated. Masamori Sasaki (aged 44), who made the arrangements for participation into the ARISS program, adjusted the radio frequency, repeating the call sign “NA1SS”; upon calling out the third time, among the radio noise came a response, “Hello!”
Cheers engulfed the room.
During the 10 minutes of correspondence, the fifteen students took turns with the microphone, asking questions to Italian astronaut, Luca Parmitano.
“What is the first thing you want to do when you come back to earth?” asked a 14-year-old female student.
“I think I want to call my family, and take a shower,” replied the astronaut.
Questions were asked one after another including, “What is your favourite space food?” and “What does the Earth look like from space?”
“I was filled with excitement! I want to make my dreams come true,” said a 15-year-old student looking to engage int he field of space development in the future.