Live Interview with Space Station Astronaut to Take Place at Mayborn June 27

June 23, 2005

by Judy Long

The Mayborn Museum will sponsor a live interview with astronaut John Phillips aboard the International Space Station at 11 a.m. Monday, June 27. The cost for admission is $4 for children and $6 for adults. Local children whose questions were pre-selected will talk to Phillips as the space station travels across the horizon.

The museum will host a communications day around the interview from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Two space station videos will be shown in the museum theater, and interactive games and rockets will be available inside and outside of the museum.

Phillips, a former navy pilot, received a doctorate in geophysics from the University of California at Los Angeles and was selected for astronaut training in 1996. He was a member of the of the Space Shuttle Endeavour crew which delivered and began installing the Canadarm 2 on the International Space Station in April 2001.

NASA's Amateur Radio on the International Space Station project, a joint educational effort of The U. S., Canada, Russia, the European Partners and Japan, is conducted with the help of local amateur radio clubs.

Amateur radio operator Pat Hynan, who is also computer systems manager in Baylor's School of Engineering and Computer Science, said amateur radio operators continue to play an important role in communication, even with the availability of advanced communication options. "Since we're self-contained, amateur radio operators can set up and be active within 10 minutes in case of a natural disaster or communication emergency.

"For example, on September 11, 2001, since all phone lines went through the World Trade Center, no landlines or cell phone lines were working, and communication was carried out through amateur radio operators." Hynan is coordinating between NASA and the museum for Monday's event.

The Waco Amateur Radio Club will give ham radio and Morse code demonstrations, and three emergency communication vehicles will be parked outside for display. To demonstrate emergency communications, participants will have an opportunity to send a message anywhere in the world to arrive within 24 hours. For more information, call the Mayborn Museum at 710-1110.

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