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Kids Make Contact With Space Shuttle; Education: Corona del Mar students query astronauts via radio and satellite. A transcript will be put on the Internet.
The Los Angeles Times; Los Angeles, Calif.; Jul 25, 1999; KATE FOLMAR;

Abstract:
Tapping her platform-sandaled foot in anticipation, Camilla Moshayedi reviewed the question she had prepared for space shuttle Columbia commander Eileen M. Collins.

Through the wizardry of amateur radio and an elaborate satellite "telebridge," 12-year-old Camilla and 19 of her classmates from Harbor View Elementary School in Corona del Mar were about to get a long-distance line to space. At 5:40 p.m. Saturday, they made contact with the crew members of the orbiting shuttle--the first ever with a female commander.

From the shuttle flight deck, hovering over the Pacific Ocean, Collins said . . . something. Unfortunately, Camilla, her classmates and several dozen parents and friends couldn't hear the response.
Full Text:
(Copyright, The Times Mirror Company; Los Angeles Times 1999 all Rights reserved)
Tapping her platform-sandaled foot in anticipation, Camilla Moshayedi reviewed the question she had prepared for space shuttle Columbia commander Eileen M. Collins.
Through the wizardry of amateur radio and an elaborate satellite "telebridge," 12-year-old Camilla and 19 of her classmates from Harbor View Elementary School in Corona del Mar were about to get a long-distance line to space. At 5:40 p.m. Saturday, they made contact with the crew members of the orbiting shuttle--the first ever with a female commander.
When Camilla approached the phone set up in the front of the school's multipurpose room, her voice was clear and strong: "Is there anything special about the seating arrangement on the shuttle? Over."
From the shuttle flight deck, hovering over the Pacific Ocean, Collins said . . . something. Unfortunately, Camilla, her classmates and several dozen parents and friends couldn't hear the response.
The call was arranged on short notice--only 10 days ago, and the audio system could not adequately amplify the astronaut's answers.
That technical glitch aside, the call made through SAREX--the Space Amateur Radio Experiment--was a success. Eight children got to ask questions, about space food, the way liftoff feels and about the significance of being the first female commander, before the connection broke off.
Sometime Monday, they should be able to read Collins' responses on the Internet--transcribed from a recording made of the call. The address is http://members.tripod.com/sarexview.
Despite the slight letdown, Camilla was thrilled.
"I'm really happy I got to talk to her," she said afterward. "She's practically a celebrity, as the first female commander."
Harbor View was one of five schools scheduled to talk on Saturday with the astronauts, on a mission to release the Chandra X-Ray Observatory into orbit. The experiment was initiated by K.D. "Doug" Borcoman, a computer-science instructor for the Orange County Department of Education.
"To have eight or 10 questions answered is considered excellent," Borcoman told the parents and children after the five-minute chat. "There are so many complexities involved."
Credit: TIMES STAFF WRITER