May 27, 2008


On Tuesday May 27th 2008 at 09:00 UTC, i.e. 11:00 local time, the Primary School “San Giuseppe” , located in Noicattaro, near Bari and the Primary School “De Gasperi”, located in Mola di Bari, established a first European terrestrial contact with ESA astronaut Roberto Vittori, IZ6ERU, from Baikonur Cosmodrome, the oldest and largest Russian operational space launch facility (Kazakhstan).

Primary School “De Gasperi” was built 50 years ago, in the centre of the town. It’s a big building made up of 50 classrooms, a gymnasium, a computer laboratory, a reading laboratory and a great hall for theatre activities. It is attended by about 700 pupils, aged from 6 to 11 years. In addition to the basic activities, the school offers the opportunity to attend optional activities in the afternoon, such as English language, music, sports, theatre, ecology, and other artistic and research activities.

Primary school "San Giuseppe" in Mola di Bari (BA) has over 800 students and a teaching staff of 70 teachers, directed by headmaster Sergio D'Ursi. The Primary Schools has multimedia and scientific laboratories and pupils play an active role in a number of projects, which make them experience music, dance, theatre, sports, etc.

Michele Mallardi, IZ7EVR was coordinator for this contact in Noicattaro. The operator of the contact was ARISS mentor Francesco De Paolis, IK0WGF. The questions were read by the students. The audience was about 220 pupils and guests in Mola di Bari and more than 200 pupils, guests and media operators in Noicattero.

At 09:00 UTC a telephone conference between the schools and IZ6ERU was established. Roberto Vittori sent greetings to the pupils and answered 20 questions. The contact was conducted in Italian and lasted about one hour. This contact has been organised as an experimental activity giving the terminal year students the opportunity to achieve the work on an educational ARISS project.

Many thanks to Roberto Vittori for making possible this event and for his kind availability and involvement.

Newspapers covered the event.

Congratulations to the ARISS team in Noicattaro and Mola di Bari!

73, Francesco De Paolis, IKØWGF

ARISS mentor

Noicattaro 1
Noicattaro 2
Noicattaro 3