Author Topic: February 2008: Christa McAuliffe Planetarium Project Officially Underway!  (Read 4007 times)

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Offline W1RC

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THE NEW ENGLAND AMATEUR RADIO FESTIVAL
at The Deerfield (NH) Fairgrounds


OFFICIAL MEDIA/PRESS COMMUNIQUE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DEERFIELD, NH: 1 February 2008.

As announced at Deerfield on October 13th, 2007, the proceeds from NEAR-Fest II will go to funding a fully operational amateur radio station to be located at the CHRISTA McAULIFFE PLANETARIUM in Concord NH.  This station will be capable of communicating with the International Space Station (ISS)and the NASA Space Shuttle.  It is a gift to the young people of New Hampshire from the amateur radio operators of New England and Eastern Canada who attend the event. 

The Planetarium staff are very excited at the prospect of having a radio station on-site they can exhibit and operate with which they can communicate directly with the ISS and other NASA facilities. 

"We are delighted about this exciting partnership," noted Planetarium Executive Director Jeanne Gerulskis.  "Our goal is to educate and inspire.  What a perfect medium amateur radio is to accomplish this.  Teaching about radio waves and frequencies will come alive when we use the amateur radio station at the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium."

"We look forward to calling up some New England astronauts on the space shuttle and International Space Station in the near future," Gerulskis added.  "Just imagine how young people's dreams will come alive when they get to talk with real live astronauts orbiting in space.  And think about young people learning how radio waves can be sent around the Earth to reach their peers in Australia or Singapore: this partnership may engender a whole new generation of amateur radio operators!"

A prominent location in the Planetarium has been allocated for the amateur station adjacent to the Gift Shop.


It is located just outside the entrance to the Theatre which is the focal point of the Planetarium.  This is where visitors wait to enter the Theatre.


The Contoocook Valley Radio Club (CVRC) has enthusiastically agreed to work with NEAR-Fest and assist Planetarium staff members in becoming licensed and proficient in the use of the equipment.  Towards that goal licensing classes will be held at the Planetarium starting on Tuesday, February 5th 2008.  Six staff members have already enrolled and it is expected that two more will do likewise by the time classes begin.

CVRC President John Moore, N1FOJ, commented: "The Contoocook Valley Radio Club is honored to be chosen as the Sponsoring Club! Our Club members are looking forward with great excitement to partnering with NEARFest and The Planetarium in the installation and operation of the new amateur radio station! "

N1FOJ is also the lead instructor and anticipates that the candidates will will be well prepared to sit for their Technician examinations at their Club hamfest on March 30th 2008 at Henniker NH. 

It is anticipated that the Station will be fully operational by April.  The Dedication Ceremony is tentatively scheduled for Friday May 2nd 2008.

                                                -30-

MEDIA CONTACTS:   Michael Crestohl, W1RC,
                              NEAR-Fest Founder and General Chairman
                              W1RC@near-fest.com

                              John Moore, N1FOJ,
                              President, CVRC,
                              JCN1FOJ@aol.com

                              Jeanne Gerulskis,
                              Executive Director, Christa McAuliffe Planetarium
                              jgerulskis@starhop.com

World Wide Web pages:

New England Amateur Radio Festival:  www.near-fest.com

Contoocook Valley Radio Club:            www.k1bke.org

Christa McAuliffe Planetarium:             www.starhop.com