Catapult supports video link between International Space Station and UK pupils

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The Satellite Applications Catapult is excited to be supporting a world first today, when British ESA astronaut, Tim Peake, does a live video link-up between the International Space Station (ISS) and school children in the UK.

The Catapult’s 3.7 metre antenna at Goonhilly Earth Station in Cornwall will be used to receive video signals from the ISS, which are sent from a HamTV transmitter. This is part of the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) project, which will enable several schools to speak directly to Tim during his 6-month mission on the ISS.

Through the ARISS initiative, there will be a series of ten links-up, in which pre-selected schools can directly question the astronaut, using equipment specially installed at each school.

Antonia Jenkinson, COO of the Satellite Applications Catapult, said: “Tim’s Principia mission has clearly captured the imagination of the UK public, and in particular many schoolchildren. We’re therefore delighted to be involved in this unique initiative that provides direct communication and engagement with the UK’s first astronaut on board the ISS.”

Tim Peake is spending six months on the ISS, undertaking experiments in the unique environment that space provides, as well as trying out new technologies for future human exploration missions. A key part of his mission involves inspiring people, especially children, to develop their interest in science and discover more about the career opportunities that it offers.