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SAREX School Group Contact News

SAREX School Group Bulletin
Prairie Hills Elementary Contact

The following e-mail from Rob Roller, N7LV, to his team represents a good
compilation of the Praire Hills Elementary SAREX school group contact that
occurred on Tuesday February 25.  Prairie Hill is located in Colorado
Springs, Colorado.  They, too, were originally slated to talk to astronaut
Jerry Linenger almost a year ago.   As Rob states, the "Long Wait was
Definitely Worth It!"

Rob's e-mail:

Long Wait was Definitely Worth It!

What a thrill!  About 300-400 kids in the gym, all three networks with a
video crew there, 10 excited kids waiting to ask their questions, and a
great crew of radio operators and video camera operators.  All of this came
together at slightly after 9:07 this morning when we finally made the
contact with Andy Thomas on Mir.

All the people in the gym watched closely as the overhead display showed Mir
on its track to Colorado Springs while they listened to the static over the
gym's PA speakers.  When Andy Thomas' voice broke through, I'm sure I could
hear plenty of suppressed "Yea!" expressions.  Andy talked for several
seconds, describing what he's doing on the Mir.  Then the kids asked their
questions and Andy answered all that he could hear.  By the seventh
question, Mir was dropping rapidly toward the horizon and we were losing the
signal quickly.  Unfortunately only six questions were answered by Andy, but
the rest were answered by our two speakers. 

Following the contact, two speakers answered yet more questions for about
another half an hour from excited kids.  Maj Mike Caylor from the USAFA and
Eric Joern, with about 10 years experience training the astronauts, answered
many more questions for the next 30 or 40 minutes.

If you were listening to the 146.97 Pikes Peak FM Assn repeater, you'd have
heard a retransmission of both sides of the contact.  I personally didn't
hear it, but I heard second-hand that it was quite clear.

Gotta say "Thanks!" to all that helped out.  This really couldn't have been
done by just one or two people.  It really was a team effort, from the
people that loaned the equipment, to the people that helped with the
installation of the antennas, the publicity to get the word out, to those
that came this morning and to the staff at Prairie Hills Elementary.

You should be able to catch this on any of the local news stations today.
The news times that I know of are:  TV-11:  noon and 4:30; TV-13:  5:30; and
TV-5/30:  one of either 5 pm, 6 pm, or 10 pm (don't know which).

We'll probably put together an edited video and get it documented in other
ways.  I'll add a bit more detail shortly.  Thanks very much to all that


Submitted by Frank H. Bauer, KA3HDO for the SAREX working Group
Frank H. Bauer, KA3HDO
AMSAT V.P. for Manned Space Programs
E-mail:  ka3hdo@amsat.org