This afternoon is set to be a special one for Tallaght Community School when some of their lucky students will be the first in Ireland to make radio contact with the International Space Station as it orbits the planet.
History will be made at 1.48 pm today when the local students make contact with Italian Astronaut Paulo Nespoli (pictured below) on board the ISS as it orbits the earth at 27,600km/h.
All 900 of the schools pupils will take part in the event and having studied up on the ISS they’ve been given an opportunity to further their knowledge by submitting questions to be selected.
The out of this world opportunity for TCS came about thanks to the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station programme (ARISS).
ARISS is a global voluntary group that created a programme for utilising radio equipment on-board the ISS as a channel for further educating schools across the world on the work of the international space programme, life on-board the ISS, expeditions which astronauts are undertaking and amateur radio.
TCS has set up a temporary radio station on its grounds which includes an antenna and a two-way radio system enabling contact between the school and the ISS with students having a window of between six and 12 minutes to talk with Paulo Nespoli.
Another school, Gymnasium Räddningsgymnasiet based in Sando, Sweden, is also taking part today along with TCS and will be asking questions as well.
The contact should be audible over Western Europe.
Any amateur radio operators are invited to listen in on the 145.800 MHz downlink.
You can watch the live stream from Tallaght Community School here: