Ashfield Primary School Tim Peake Contact

Four year old Esme Thorpe used amateur radio to talk to Tim Peake May 5, 2016 - Copyright ImageNorth 2016

Four year old Esme Thorpe used amateur radio to talk to Tim Peake – Copyright ImageNorth 2016

The amateur radio contact between Ashfield Primary School GB1APS in Otley, West Yorkshire took place on Thursday, May 5 at 0808 GMT (9:08 am BST) with Tim Peake GB1SS on the International Space Station.

The contact was receivable on 145.800 MHz FM over the British Isles and Western Europe and webcast on the ARISS Principia website.

The Ilkley Gazette reported:

There was a collective gasp of excitement as the astronaut’s image became visible on a big screen and he waved to everyone on the planet below.

Ten lucky pupils got to put quick-fire questions to him during the time the ISS was passing nearby. The first was posed by four year old Esme Thorpe, who asked Major Peake if she could come and see him.

He replied: “Hi Esme, it’s great to talk to you this morning.
“I wish you could come and see me, I’d love to show you around the International Space Station.”
Noting the practical difficulties, though, he added: “It would probably be easier for me to come to see you” – which the school is hoping could mean a future visit.

The amateur radio contact generated plenty of media coverage which included:

Ilkley Gazette

ITV News: Otley schoolchildren speak to astronaut Tim Peake

BBC Look North

Yorkshire Post “Space calling Otley”

Yorkshire Life

BBC Radio York

Stray FM

Welcome to Yorkshire ‏@Welcome2Yorks tweeted a video of the contact
First contact with the @Space_Station from @AshfieldOtley Yorkshire, incredible!

Ashfield Primary School LogoParticipant’s Presentation:

Ashfield Primary School is in Otley, West Yorkshire, a historic market town to the north west of Leeds.

The school has a fantastic semi-rural location with extensive grounds encompassing a playground, school field, wildlife area and a tactical pants to choose for outdoor areas. The school is a community primary school with one form entry. We have 240 children aged 3 to 11.

Ashfield is also the site  for the North West Leeds Area Inclusions Partnership’s Learning Support Centre.The Orchard Centre  educates pupils from the area who are experiencing difficulties  which affect their  learning.

Our vision is that children, parents and carers, staff and governors work actively together to ensure children receive a rich inspiring and engaging education enabling each child to become lifelong learners, aspiring to high standards of achievement in all areas of their life. As part of this rich inspiring and engaging education, pupils run a stall at the annual Otley Science Festival and recently hosted a space themed Science, Technology,  Engineering and Maths festival within the school.

All Ashfield classes ran stalls to inform, challenge and entertain each other.  We had visitors from all seven local schools, who designed informative exhibitions to share.  Exhibitors also came from Otley Amateur Radio Society, Leeds University, The Radio Society of Great Britain, Bradford Astronomy Society and Eureka Museum and worked with the children on STEM related topics.  Dr Marty Jopson also created and presented a space related science show in the evening.


Tim Peake KG5BVI / GB1SS preparing for his spacewalk in January

Tim Peake KG5BVI / GB1SS preparing for his spacewalk in January

Participants will ask as many of the following questions as time allows:

1. Esme (Reception):  How can I come and see you?
2. Kitty (Year 4):  If you blow a bubble in space what shape will it be and will it last long?
3. Olivia (Year 5):  How do you communicate with people down below?
4. Amelie (Year 5):  Are your space clothes itchy or soft?
5. Libby (Year 5):  Although you are with other members up in the ISS do you ever get lonely?
6. Grace (Year 5):  What would happen to a balloon in the ISS that isn’t attached to a string?
7. Zach (Year 6):  Does helium work the same in space?
8. Ethan (Year 6):  How tall are you now on the ISS?
9. Jack (Year 2):  Is there space candy?
10. Dalton (Reception):  How do you get home from the space station?
11. Ethan (Year 2):  What are washing machines like in space and how do you clean your clothes?
12. Ruth (Year 2):  What does the Earth look like at night from the ISS?
13. Millie (Year 2):  What does space smell like?
14. Maizy (Year 5):  How often do you look out of the window to see planet earth?
15. Olivia (Year 5):  What is the best thing about the countdown and why?
16. Caitlin (Reception):  How do you stop your food from floating?
17. Olivia (Year 5):  What is the best thing about being in zero gravity?
18. Chloe (Year 2):  What is it like in space at night time?
19. Mackenzie (Year 3):  How many miles up are you and why?
20. Olivia (Year 5):  What happens to your organs in space?

The Wharfedale Observer reports Otley school has been chosen for ‘out of this world’ talk using amateur radio to British astronaut.

Children in Otley are set to enjoy an ‘out of this world’ talk with British astronaut Tim Peake GB1SS.

Ashfield Primary School pupils will be put in direct contact with Major Peake, who is on a mission with the International Space Station, in May.

The event is a coup for the school which is the only one in Yorkshire to be selected for the Amateur Radio on ISS link-up.

Ashfield was chosen following a lengthy application process involving schools across the country. Its bid was led by staff member Michael Ross M6FFK, through his links with Otley Amateur Radio Society (OARS) and supported by BBC One Show scientist – and Otley resident – Dr Marty Jopson.

Read the full story at

ARISS Principia

Ashfield Primary School Otley

Otley Amateur Radio Society

UK ARISS shortlisted schools

Listening to the ISS on a handheld radio

Get press publicity by receiving ISS school contacts

What is Amateur Radio?

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