• Hannah Phillips

From Kingston to Outer Space - Connecting Schools Around the World

Imagine speaking to astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) on a regular basis...

Kingston resident Tony Hutchison doesn't have to imagine, he is an amateur radio operator who takes pride in his work, giving schools right around the world the opportunity to speak to astronauts in action.

Known by his call sign VK5ZAI, Tony has volunteered countless hours connecting around 100 schools - including up to 60 from Australia - to the ISS from his home in Kingston SE.

As a founding member of the group 'Amateur Radio on International Space Station' (ARISS), he has recently been recognised by NASA for 20 years of service.

Tony joined Anita on Flow FM to talk about his incredible experiences speaking to astronauts, and how schools can get involved.

Tony told Flow FM about some of his most memorable link ups with the ISS.

If you would like to get your local school speaking to astronauts on the International Space Station, email Tony at: hutch@electric-web.org, or visit his website VK5ZAI.

The program comes at no cost to schools, but there is a waiting list of around 12 months.

Tony is currently working on technology to connect students to the ISS via video link, which should be available in the not too distant future.

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