May 05, 2002


Italian astronaut Roberto Vittori on board the International Space Station for the Marco Polo Mission activated the ARISS station.

On May 3rd, he contacted the clubstation IZ0ABD in the elementary school of Citta' di Castello and spoke to his son who is a pupil in this school. His wife was also present and sent him her love.

On May 4th, a contact had been scheduled at 10.40 UTC with the Malignani Institute for electronics and telecommunications in Cervignano del Friuli, Udine but failed. It was decided to do a second attempt during the next pass.

At 12.20 UTC, the clubstation IK0WGF at the Lattanzio Institute in Rome established the contact. This station was linked to the Malignani Institute. Moreover, students were gathered in the gymnasium of the Einstein highschool, 2 km away, and followed the exchange transmitted by ATV. In total, nearly 400 students and teachers assisted to the event.

Despite unforseen circumstances, the contact, although delayed, finally proved a success, thanks to the know-how of a team of hams, members of AMSAT Italia, operating in Cervignano as well as in Rome.

Roberto Vittori is the first Italian astronaut performing amateur radio on the ISS. His callsign is IZ6ERU.