An astronaut on the international space station will answer questions, live via amateur radio, from Boy Scouts from Los Padres Council Troop 105 at 8:35 a.m. Tuesday at UCSB Broida Hall. 

Dr. Gregory Errol Chamitoff, a flight engineer and science officer on the space station, requested that the question-and-answer session take place with the Scouts. Members of the Santa Barbara Amateur Radio Club will set up radio equipment designed for space communications on the roof of Broida Hall.

Chamitoff is serving a six-month tour of duty aboard the space station. He launched to the station with the crew of STS-124 on May 31 and docked with the station two days later. He will return to Earth on shuttle mission STS-125. Previously, Chamitoff was a member of the crew on the Aquarius undersea research habitat for nine days as part of NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) 3.

“Normally, it’s a five-year wait for this kind of event,” said Glenn Schiferl, who manages the computer systems for the physics department and is scoutmaster for Troop 105. “But one of my assistant scoutmasters was a classmate of Greg Chamitoff at Cal Poly. They kept in touch and anticipated doing this.”

The event will be streamed live on the Internet. The contact will last for 15 minutes.

Tom Saunders represents the Santa Barbara Amateur Radio Club.