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#Science

Astronaut Tim Peake invites UK school pupils to contact him via amateur radio

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The first British ESA astronaut, Tim Peake, has extended an invitation to all interested UK school pupils to contact him through amateur radio whilst he is onboard the International Space Station.

Peake will be onboard the International Space Station (ISS) starting November for a period of six months working and living on the space station. During his stay he will be talking with UK school pupils via a scheduled amateur radio link-up while the ISS is above the UK. Students will be able to ask him questions about his life and work on board the ISS.

“I hope to share as much of my mission as possible and am delighted that I will be able to talk to UK students when the ISS flies over Britain, thanks to the radio amateur equipment on board the International Space Station and the ARISS programme”, said Peake.

During the 10-minute window, Tim and the students will be able to hear each other almost immediately. The astronaut will be using the amateur radio callsign GB1SS whilst he is talking to UK based schools.

Amateur Radio on the International Space Stations (ARISS) UK will be providing and setting up all necessary radio equipment including low earth orbit satellite tracking antennas and radios to establishing a fully functional, direct radio link with the International Space Station from their very own premises.

Schools throughout the United Kingdom are being invited to host one of a limited number of these in-flight calls, which will include space workshops where students can explore space, space related technologies, the relevance of space to our digital lives and even analyse data being sent down from orbiting satellites.

The students taking part in the link-up will have to obtain their full amateur radio licence to be eligible to operate the radio and one lucky student at each of the selected schools will be responsible for making contact with the ISS.

An RSGB team and the ARISS UK Operations team will work with the chosen schools to prepare them for this exceptional opportunity during the mission of the first British ESA Astronaut.

This radio link-up has been made possible through a collaboration between Amateur Radio on the International Space Stations (ARISS), the UK Space Agency, the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) and the European Space Agency (ESA).

How to Apply

The opportunity to be involved in this exciting project opens 20 March 2015. Eligible institutions are invited to apply in order to register their interest.

Stage 1 application forms, available from the European Space Education Resource Office web site at http://tinyurl.com/ariss-timpeake must be returned no later than Friday 24 April 2015.

Schools/Institutions that are to be invited to proceed to Stage 2 will be notified in the week commencing 11 May 2015.

Stage 2 applications must be submitted and received by 26 June 2015.

There will then be a selection process involving the UK Space Agency, ESA, ARISS and the RSGB. The successful schools will be announced at the UK Space Conference on 14 July 2015.