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ISS astronauts to speak to Mary Hare School, Newbury, pupils in world first for deaf children




Students from a Newbury school will be taking part in a world first today, when they talk to astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

Ten pupils from Mary Hare School for deaf children will pose a question each as the ISS orbits above them at 11,000mph.

The school will be using amateur radio equipment - set up with the help of the Newbury and District Amateur Radio Society (NADARS) – to receive the live answers.

Mary Hare pupils will take part in a live link up with the ISS today
Mary Hare pupils will take part in a live link up with the ISS today

“It is a very exciting event – a world first for deaf pupils,” said Alex Ayling, a science teacher at the school.

“I think it is very important to our deaf pupils as it shows whatever your challenges with communication there is no limit to what you can achieve. The sky is not the limit.”

The group will be the first deaf children to have ever made contact with the ISS and they were picked for the task thanks to a competition in school last month.

Pupils will speak to an astronaut on the ISS via amateur radio
Pupils will speak to an astronaut on the ISS via amateur radio

Students were invited to submit their question from one of five categories – science in space, space technology, living in space, space communication and earth from space.

The ten best questions were chosen by staff and those students invited to ask their question on the day of broadcast.

The event will be made possible by the world-wide organisation ARISS (Amateur Radio International Space Station) that heads up the amateur radio contacts for space agencies NASA and ESA.

The ISS has an amateur radio station on board and the astronauts are also licenced radio amateurs.

The signal will be transmitted and received on the VHF amateur band and can be heard live all over the UK using amateur radios or scanners.

You can also view a live web feed here to watch the event - including Mission Control, in Houston.



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