On Friday, January 8, students at Sandringham School, St. Albans had an amateur radio contact with UK astronaut Tim Peake GB1SS who was on board the International Space Station.
Initial radio contact with Tim was made by Year 10 pupil Jessica Leigh M6LPJ who, along with two other students, passed her Foundation exam just before Christmas after training with the Verulam Amateur Radio Club.
The school caters for 1300 students aged 11-19 with 100 teachers including specialist teachers of computing science and three female physics teachers all of whom have a specialist interest in space and astronomy. In addition, the head teacher Alan Gray G4DJX is a very active radio amateur who is extremely supportive of this contact.
ARISS UK (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) has provided and set up all necessary radio equipment such as low earth orbit satellite tracking antennas and radios, to establish a fully functional, direct radio link with the ISS from the school premises. In the few minutes when the ISS was over the UK, an amateur radio contact was established with Tim, and students were be able to ask him questions about his life and work on board the ISS.
The Sandringham School Space Festival started on January 5 and culminated with the live contact with astronaut Tim Peake on Friday January 8 at 08:47 GMT. During the week there was a wide range of activities to engage the students in space, including a presentation from Spacecraft Engineer Sian Cleaver, mobile planetariums, an amateur radio buildathon, rocket workshops and talks on Mars and Cosmonauts.
What is Amateur Radio? http://www.essexham.co.uk/what-is-amateur-radio
Find an amateur radio training course near you https://thersgb.org/services/coursefinder/