Inspire Youth to Work Hard and Dream Big
Arlington, Va. – September 28, 2005 – Space Adventures, Ltd., the world's leading space experiences company, announced today that their orbital spaceflight client, Greg Olsen, Ph.D., plans to communicate from the International Space Station (ISS) with three select high schools via HAM radio signal during his upcoming mission. The company, which organized spaceflights for the world's first private space explorers, American businessman Dennis Tito and the 'First African in Space' Mark Shuttleworth, has coordinated this effort in conjunction with the Amateur Radio on the ISS (ARISS) international working group.
Dr. Olsen will speak with a total of 36 high school students during a series of ten minute sessions while in orbit, during October 5 – 7, 2005. The three schools selected include Princeton High School and Ridgefield Park High School in New Jersey, and Fort Hamilton High School in New York. Twelve students from each school will participate and will have the opportunity to ask up to two questions each.
"I'm looking forward to connecting with the students to be able to share my experiences in space," said Greg Olsen, member of Soyuz TMA-7 crew. "I think it's very important to encourage the youth of today to dream big and let them know that anything is possible through hard work and dedication."
"Even though Dr. Olsen will be quite busy performing technical duties and conducting scientific experiments, he will also find time to speak with students from his beloved 'home' states of New York and New Jersey," said Eric Anderson, president and CEO of Space Adventures. "We applaud Greg for his dedication to this mission, but also his drive to encourage young people to study science, math and astronomy by giving a first-hand description of the wonders of space."
"It is quite exciting to see the inspirational spark that is produced in students when they talk to explorers living and working in space," said Frank Bauer, ARISS International Chairman and AMSAT's vice president for human spaceflight. "The ARISS team of volunteers looks forward to working with Dr. Olsen and preparing the schools for this once in a lifetime event."
The connection from the ISS to each individual school will be established through the ARISS tele-bridge system. The tele-bridge is an ARISS network of worldwide amateur radio ground stations employed to link Dr. Olsen directly with the school students, similar to the way mission control centers in the US and Russia talk to their space explorers.
Currently, Dr. Olsen is finishing his final spaceflight preparations at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for his 10-day spaceflight. His launch date is scheduled for October 1, 2005. Dr. Olsen will be a member of the Soyuz TMA-7 crew which will also include NASA astronaut William McArthur and cosmonaut Valery Tokarev. For information on his orbital mission, please visit http://www.GoToOrbit.com.
ARISS is an international working group of volunteers from the national amateur radio organizations (ARRL in the U.S.) and the international AMSAT (Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation) organizations from each country. To date, the ARISS team has performed nearly 200 school contacts with crew members on the ISS, including schools for Mark Shuttleworth's flight. This team has also set up numerous family contacts for space explorers via HAM radio---including contacts for Dennis Tito during his stay on the ISS.
Space Adventures, the only company to have successfully launched private space explorers to the International Space Station, is headquartered in Arlington, Va. with offices in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Moscow and Tokyo. It offers a variety of programs such as Zero-Gravity and MiG flights, cosmonaut training, spaceflight qualification programs and reservations on future suborbital spacecrafts. The company's advisory board comprises Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, shuttle astronauts Kathy Thornton, Robert (Hoot) Gibson, Charles Walker, Norm Thagard, Sam Durrance, Byron Lichtenberg, Pierre Thuot and Skylab astronaut Owen Garriott. For more information, please visit www.SpaceAdventures.com.