01 Oct.2017 Paolo Nespoli IZØJPA at HAM Radio station in Columbus module
13 Feb. 2017 Thomas Pesquet is talking with students via HAMTV & HAM Radio from Columbus module
Tim Peake KG5BVI is talking with students via HAMTV & HAM Radio from Columbus module
ARISS contact with WRC-15 from the ITU amateur radio station 4U1ITU
25 Aug. 2013 Luca Parmitano is talking with students via HAM Radio from Columbus module
HAM TV Project
Samantha Cristoforetti is talking with students via HAM Radio from Columbus module
IK1SLD Telebridge Station operated by Claudio IK1SLD and Max IW1CNF (SK)
27 Feb. 2012 André Kuipers is talking with students via HAM Radio from Service module
ON4ISS Telebridge Station operated by Philippe ON5PV
8 Jan. 2011 Paolo Nespoli is talking with students via HAM Radio from Service module
22 Apr. 2010 Frank De Winne and Students at European Parliament talk via HAM Radio with ISS
24 Nov. 2009 Frank De Winne is talking with students via HAM Radio from Service module
13 Jun. 2006 Students at ESC talk with ISS via HAM Radio
18 Apr. 2005 Roberto Vittori is talking with students via HAM Radio from Service module
ARISS antennas on Columbus module

Welcome on board

The International Space Station, presently nearly complete, is permanently manned by teams of astronauts and cosmonauts. Most have an amateur radio licence.

Amateur Radio societies from the ISS partner countries, in USA, Canada, Russia, Europe and Japan, have set up ARISS - Amateur Radio on International Space Station.

ARISS is a volunteering working group devoted to develop and put into operation the onboard amateur radio station. ARISS-Europe is the European branch of ARISS.

ARISS presentation by Gaston Bertels, ON4WF - 5th Polish-Wide Conference of Contributors & Sympathizers in ARISS - 17 Oct., 2015, Ostrów Wielkopolski, Poland ARISS presentation on Youtube

ARISS-Europe News Bulletin mailing list : Do you want to stay informed on important events related to the amateur radio activities on board the International Space Station? You are kindly invited to subscribe to the ARISS-Europe News Bulletin mailing list. We will email you the latest news.

The goal of this website is to collect all the amateur radio activities performed by the Italian ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli, IZØJPA, during the VITA mission on board of the International Space Station.

Nespoli is an ISS increment 52/53 member, that will live on the ISS starting from July 2017 to mid December 2017 for his third spaceflight. VITA stands for Vitality, Innovation, Technology and Ability and was chosen by Italy’s ASI space agency, which is providing the mission through a barter agreement with NASA. In Italian, “vita” means “life”, reflecting the experiments that Paolo will run and the philosophical notion of living in outer space – one of the most inhospitable places for humans.

ARISS is an international educational outreach program partnering the volunteer support and leadership from AMSAT and IARU societies around the world with the ISS space agencies partners: NASA, Russian Space Agency, ESA, JAXA, and CSA. ARISS offers an opportunity for students to experience the excitement of Amateur Radio by talking directly with crewmembers on board the International Space Station. Teachers, parents and communities see, first hand, how Amateur Radio and crewmembers on ISS can energize youngsters' interest in science, technology, and learning.



Some ISS crew members make random, unscheduled, amateur radio voice contacts with earth-bound radio amateurs, often called "hams". They can make radio contacts during their breaks, pre-sleep time and before and after mealtime. Astronauts have contacted thousands of hams around the world. The work schedules of the ISS crew dictate when they are able to operate the radios. The crew's usual waking period is 0730 - 1930 UTC. The most common times to find a crew member making casual periods are about one hour after waking and before sleeping, when they have personal time. They're usually free most of the weekend, as well.  (The current crew work schedule is published on the NASA website.)

The crew can operate the 2-meter packet radio in unattended mode, and hams can make contacts with the ISS station when the crew members are working.  Hams can also communicate with each other using the ISS packet (computer) radio mode, or receive slow scan television mode images. It all depends on what equipment is in service in space.

A typical ground station for contacting the ISS station includes a 2-meter FM transceiver and 25-100 watts of output power. A circularly polarized crossed-Yagi antenna capable of being pointed in both azimuth (North-South-East-West) and elevation (degrees above the horizon) is desirable. But successful contacts have even been made with vertical and ground plane antennas.

See Parmitano blog (Here Parmitano tells his amateur radio experience on ISS)


ARISS is an international volunteering working group devoted to develop and put into operation the onboard amateur radio station. The main goal is to provide educational outreach to the youth of the world, in collaboration with the space agencies. Specialised satellite amateur radio operators across the world offer their expertise, their equipment and their time to establish the radio link with the space station.

ARISS counts five Regions: USA, Canada, Europe (Africa, Middle-East), Russia, Japan (Far East and Australia)

There is a waiting list in each Region. The waiting time is approximately 6 months, depending on the number of schools on the waiting lists and the availability of the astronauts.

The ARISS Schools Selection Committee selects schools fulfilling the requirements relative to technical feasibility and a valid educational project. Selected schools are put on a waiting list.

Interested schools submit an Application includes Authorisation and use of personal information and a STEAM oriented educational project (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics).

In European Region (Europe, Africa and Middle-East), Schools and Youth organizations, interested in setting up an ARISS radiocontact with an astronaut onboard the International Space Station, are invited to submit their requests from September to November and from February to April. The documents shall be e-mailed to the ARISS School Selection Manager:  school.selection.manager@ariss-eu.org

An “ARISS Mentor” checks how the school can fulfill the requested STEAM oriented educational activities, adapted to age and level of the participating students. Collaboration with a teacher favors the selection process. The waiting list for the ARISS-Europe Region is updated in June and in January.

For each Expedition (Increment), schools are extracted from the waiting lists and put on an active "to do" list. This is done on a "one school per week" basis, but it has happened, that two or even three schools were handled in the same week, depending on available astronaut time.

The ARISS Operations Committee meets weekly per teleconference and nominates a mentor for each school on the active list. ARISS mentors are volunteering satellite amateur radio operators, who guide the school and the local amateur radio operators on the way to a succesful school contact. ARISS mentors communicate with the schools by e-mail and telephone. They check the technical and organizational preparedness of the school. The mentor checks also the Public Relations aspect (VIP and media) and reports to the ARISS Operations Committee.

The scheduling process is progressive and takes at least two months.

20 questions are prepared by the students and forwarded to the ARISS mentor at least two weeks before the contact. A short presentation of the school is also provided. The questions are submitted to the NASA Bio-Medical service, medical doctors and psychologists responsible for the health of the astronauts. The questions and the presentation are included in the uplink document to the astronaut, with technical precisions regarding the radio contact.

Amateur radio is an experimental service. Success cannot be guaranteed, but careful preparation lends excellent results. The school shall organise rehearsals to optimise the exchange of messages during the 10 minutes pass of the ISS

It happens that a school contact is cancelled, even on short notice; a new date is then scheduled under the best possible conditions.

ARISS School Contacts are performed in two different ways, depending on practical considerations: direct contacts; telebridge contacts.

Direct contact: a satellite amateur radio station is set up in the school and operated by a local group of specialised licensed operators. This method needs careful preparation and considerable effort of the volunteering team. When no performing tracking antennas can be set up (obscurations by surrounding buildings, mountains, etc.), a telebridge contact is preferred.

Telebridge contact: the ARISS organisation counts 12 specialised ground stations, located all over the world: Belgium, Italy, Canada, USA (3), Honolulu (Hawaii), Australia (3), Argentina (2)

These stations belong to individual radioamateurs or to amateur radio clubs. Their operators volunteer to perform so-called "telebridge" ARISS School Contacts. With this setup, the radio contact with the ISS is performed by the telebridge station and the audio signals are relayed per phoneline to the school, anywhere in the world.

This system offers greater scheduling facilities than direct contacts. Indeed, the worldwide geographical distribution of the ground stations easies coordination with astronauts' timeline and schools' availibility. Telebridge ground stations operators accept to do radio contacts any time of the day and the night. Evidently, their availibility is checked during the scheduling process.

In the school, only a good phoneline and a teleconference type phoneset are needed; together with the usual audio amplifier and computer projector for the presentation.


Congratulations on taking the first step toward a rewarding experience for your entire school!

The ARISS program requires each school to submit an application which must be approved before the school can be scheduled for a contact. The school is asked to design a science and space oriented educational proposal which will be taken into account for the approval of the application. 

Please read these instructions before filling out the application. Scroll down this page to the link to download the application.

European Windows (for more details see also EuroSchools Terms of References)
EU Applications window 1: FEBRUARY - MARCH
EU Verification period 1: APRIL
EU Selection period 1: MAY   
EU Contacts window 1: JANUARY - FEBRUARY - MARCH - APRIL - MAY - JUNE (next school year)
EU Applications window 2: SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER
EU Verification period 2: NOVEMBER
EU Selection period 2: DECEMBER
EU Contacts window 2 : JULY - AUGUST - SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER - NOVEMBER - DECEMBER (next school year)

  1. Decide if your school will apply for a direct or a telebridge contact.
    • If selecting a telebridge contact, fill out section A of the application only.
    • If you wish to do a direct contact, then also fill out section B.Review the current Ground Station recommendations.
  2. Complete the application form.  Prepare your school's educational proposal. The educational proposal should include information on how your school will:
    • integrate this activity into the school curriculum.
    • involve as many grade levels as you can (essay contests, planning a Mars outpost, learning to track the ISS, learning about basic circuit boards, poster drawing, letter writing). 
    • obtain as much media coverage as possible.
  3. E-mail is the preferred method for submitting an application. For the ARISS-Europe Region, comprising Africa and the Middle East, Applications shall be addressed to the ARISS-Europe School Selection Manager  Francesco De Paolis, IK0WGF school.selection.manager@ariss-eu.org
  4. The information that you supply, including names and contact numbers of those involved form your organization will be held in confidence.  In compliance with privacy laws on the retention and the processing of personal information, the applicants are invited to complete and sign the authorization statement at the end of section A (Authorisation and use of personal information). This page should be scanned and e-mailed to the ARISS School Selection Manager.
  5. An e-mail message will be sent to you confirming the receipt of your application.  This message will advise you if your application was accepted for further processing, or the reason(s) it was rejected.  If you do not receive an e-mail confirmation within three weeks please resubmit the application.  If an e-mail address does not work, please forward your application to any of the other coordinators.
  6. Continued communication with ARISS is to be done by e-mail to facilitate exchange of information.
  7. The application will be placed in a queue. Approximately 6 months before the contact occurs, an ARISS mentor (coordinator) will be assigned to the school.
  8. When a contact date and time has been assigned to you, ARISS will notify you via e-mail.  Please reply immediately and acknowledge receipt of that message.
  9. Make sure that a signed NASA photo/audio/video/Web site ARISS Release Form is submitted by each student's parent or guardian.
  10. The ARISS school mentor will guide you through the contact preparations.

Disclaimer:  Neither the ARISS program nor NASA can be held liable in any manner if a scheduled radio contact is not performed. Space operation constraints may force a last minute cancellation.  The ARISS contact is an experiment and as such the results of the experiment are not known until the experiment is over.