Tomorrow at the City of Space, students from Paul Sabatier University and students from the Lycée de l’Espace de Saint-Orens will establish a direct connection with Thomas Pesquet to ask their questions to astronaut Thomas Pesquet who is due to return to Earth at the end of October. As it was possible: the answers of Nicolas Nohler director of the CSUT the university space center of Toulouse. A center that brings together Toulouse establishments working on spatial issues.
Are you going to join Thomas Pesquet in a rustic way, so to speak?
Rustic I don’t know. Original, in fact, instead of using the means of NASA, we are in fact using means of radio amateurs since in this project, there are also radio amateurs from Haute Garonne who are with us. Very concretely, this means that the radio amateurs have antennas which are installed in the garden of the Cité de l’Espace since the event is happening there. There is also a relay station in Italy and these are enthusiasts who communicate directly with the space station. And therefore, we will have a return to questions from Thomas Pesquet.
Was it complicated to fix an appointment in Thomas Pesquet’s agenda?
Yes. It was complicated. The project itself dates back over a year. We were postponed in June at the last moment and in fact, we are offered about fifteen passages. Finally, it was fixed on Saturday, and until 48 hours before, one can be completely canceled. We got the confirmation last night from NASA.
There will be twenty questions from the students in ten minutes. What exactly do they want to know?
The students worked on pendant projects over a year. On the link, on the radio amateurs. They made presentations that they will give tomorrow at the Cité de l’Espace and they extracted questions. For example, if we hear when we are in space. Deaf students want to know how Thomas Pesquet sees the development of the disabled in space. There are groups of girls, of course, who want to ask for the place of women in the conquest of space.
They rehearsed a lot.
It’s going to go really fast anyway, right? Twenty questions in ten minutes?
They rehearsed a lot. But also for the record, Thomas Pesquet receives the questions in advance, so he will have to prepare very synthetic answers in the short time allowed. I went to see the students and the pupils. Just yesterday he was rehearsing. They are serene.
And the goal is to democratize, to better understand what is happening on the International Space Station?
Yes of course. We want to make pupils and students work together from higher and pre-bac. And there is also the strong support of the radio amateurs and that makes it possible to make them known.
We like him a lot. Thomas Pesquet, since he studied in Toulouse, but some criticize him for being too much in communication. What do you think?
No, I think it is necessary. It is necessary and I think that all space players need this kind of personality to show the interest of space.
What do we mean by amateur radio?
These are people who have to pass a regulatory technical exam. With a transmitter, they can contact the whole world. Most of the time, these are people who are still technical, but where we find bakers, farmers also passionate about contacts. And I present my 73 to all listeners. This is the way of doing in radio ham to say “I send and all my friendships”