Burleson Students Interview Astronaut aboard the International Space Station

Students coordinate telebridge contact through Amateur Radio to learn about space communications


BURLESON, Texas (Nov. 8, 2017) – Students in the Burleson Independent School District (BISD) will interview an astronaut currently aboard the International Space Station to learn about space communication. Astronaut Paolo Nespoli will speak with students through a coordinated telebridge contact via Amateur Radio.

The program will begin Monday, November 13, 2017, beginning at 8:30 a.m. at Burleson High School, located at 100 Elk Drive in Burleson. Contact will be made at 8:50 a.m. Students will speak with Astronaut Nepoli for approximately nine minutes.

View the contact live via this YouTube link:  https://www.youtube.com/user/nathanatbisd/live.

Last fall, the BISD TX-801st AFJROTC and Student Spaceflight Experiments Programs (SSEP) jointly submitted an application to the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) to make a live “contact” during Fall 2017. Students have been preparing for the contact all year through their curriculum work and amateur radio opportunities offered in the Burleson community. High school students in related science classes,  AFJROTC students, and students involved in SSEP submitted questions to AFJROTC senior student officers, who selected these 19 questions for the Contact:  

  • Do any medications you take in space affect the body differently in space than they would on Earth?
  • Research shows that spending so much time in space has some damaging effects to the body. Could you please describe how any effects have impacted you?
  • If you could safely visit another planet, which would it be and why?
  • Being in the International Space Station and experienced different situations, How has that changed the way you see Earth and space?
  • What obstacles did you have to overcome when you first arrived to space?
  • From your experienced on the ISS would you live on Mars if possible?
  • Would you return to space in the event of colonizing another planet? Why or why not?
  • What is the impact of losing your sense of smell when in space and how long does it take to come back when you return to Earth?
  • Is there anything that can be done from space to minimize the impact of deadly weather events, if so what?
  • I understand that mental exercises are a big part of the candidate selection process to become an astronaut, but is there any way that one can really be prepared for that kind of extended isolation? Were you?
  • Did you ever dream of being an astronaut when you were young? If so, is it what you dreamed it would be?
  • In regards to space trash, how much will burn up in the atmosphere and how much poses a danger to the planet?
  • I know that you use Electrolysis of water to create oxygen in the space shuttle, but what would happen if you ran out of water is there a alternate way to create oxygen?
  • What kinds of tasks has the Robonaut 2 accomplished in its tests on the ISS?
  • Do you prefer to live in a gravitated environment or do you prefer weightlessness?
  • What do you think is the most advanced modification to the ISS?
  • What are you hoping to accomplish from 3D printing things in space?
  • Can you provide an example of an experiment in space that has made a major contribution to mankind?
  • Do you think the collaboration on the construction of the ISS from contributing countries affected the relationships between them?

Students in BISD will coordinate a telebridge contact with Santa Rosa Junior College in California, who will make the direct contact with their Amateur Radio equipment. The initial call to the telebridge will be at 8 a.m., the BISD program will officially begin at 8:15 a.m., and contact with the ISS will occur at 8:50 a.m. Students expect contact to last approximately nine minutes.

The community is invited to witness this event at the Burleson High School Auditorium or watch it stream live on the internet. Information for streaming video will be posted on the BISD website before contact begins.

To learn more about innovative education opportunities in BISD, visit the department of Academic Innovation website.



The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (“ARISS”) inspires students, worldwide, to pursue interests and  careers in science, technology, engineering and math through amateur radio communications opportunities with the International Space Station (ISS) on-orbit crew.  ARISS provides opportunities for the school community (students, teachers, families and community members) to become more aware of the substantial benefits of human spaceflight and the exploration and discovery that occur on spaceflight journeys.  

ARISS was created and is managed by an international working group, including several countries in Europe as well as Japan, Russia, Canada, and the USA. The organization is run by volunteers from the national amateur radio organizations and the international AMSAT (Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation) organizations from each country. Learn more at http://www.ariss.org/about.html.



The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program [or SSEP] is a program of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) in the U.S. and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education internationally. It is enabled through a strategic partnership with DreamUp PBC and NanoRacks LLC, which are working with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a National Laboratory. SSEP is the first pre- college STEM education program that is both a U.S. national initiative and implemented as an on-orbit commercial space venture.



Burleson Independent School District serves more than 12,000 students at 17 schools, and is recognized as a premier school district in the Dallas/Fort Worth-area. The mission of Burleson Independent School District is to engage and support every learner with a rigorous curriculum so that they graduate college and career ready. Learn more at http://www.burlesonisd.net/.




Mikala Hill or Katelyn Tyler

Burleson ISD Communications