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Wellesley House School is hosting a launch party next Tuesday, December 15th. This will be with a number of the Kent Schools that have joined us as the #KentPrincipia team hoping to talk with Tim Peake early next year via amateur radio contact. 

We believe that the excitement of Tim’s Principia mission, coupled with the intense media coverage, will capture the imagination of our pupils, supported by the wide range of first class educational resources that the UK Space Agency has made available free of charge. 

The launch will be televised by a number of channels including live on the BBC and online via NASA TV and ESA TV.  For more information, please visit

We will be showing the children what life will be like for Tim on the International Space Station, hosting a space quiz, before watching the build up and actual launch and then inviting the children to get their thinking caps on and come up with questions they would like to put forward to Tim.

The other Kent schools will then launch their own competitions after Tim launches into space to select the pupils who will be able to join us at Wellesley House next year where we will hopefully host a two-day, space related STEM workshop and the live contact with Tim Peake with video feed as well as radio link. Not every school on the shortlist will be fortunate enough to host one of the calls as this will depend upon Tim’s working arrangements on board the ISS and suitable times when the ISS passes over the UK during Tim’s mission.

If Wellesley is fortunate to host one of these calls, ARISS UK (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) will provide and set up all necessary radio equipment such as low earth orbit satellite tracking antennas and radios, to establishing a fully functional, direct radio link with the ISS from Wellesley's own premises. In a ten-minute window when the ISS will be over the UK, an amateur radio contact will be established with Tim, and pupils will be able to ask him questions about his life and work on board the ISS.

Owing to the nature of scheduling the links, which is dependent on geography, the exact orbit of the ISS and the crew schedules, the exact dates and times for possible links will not be known until 1 to 2 weeks before the link up is scheduled. We are hoping that it will take place in February but nothing will be confirmed until at least a week before.