Amateur Radio on board the International Space Station (ARISS) is an international working group of  amateur radio societies of the countries participating to the ISS, devoted to implementing the amateur radio station on board the ISS and in charge of planning school contacts with astronauts.


More information is available on the ARISS-Europe website <>




ESA, the European Space Agency, had invited the Spanish primary schools to participate to a competition on the subject of Space exploration, more precidely on the Cervantes Mission, the 10 days visit of Spanish ESA astronaut Pedro Duque to the International Space Station. The children of the winning classes would have the opportunity to participate to an ARISS School Contact and this educational activity was called “Habla ISS” and advertised on a special ESA webpage.

Dozens of schools participated and the children wrote poems, created drawings and paintings and even built a papier mache model of a space rocket. All these artworks were submitted to a selection committee at ESTEC, the European Space Research and Technology Centre. The five winning classes, plus a Portuguese class, were invited by ESA to a two days seminar in the city of Vigo.

Meanwhile, the children of the six classes submitted questions they would like to ask Pedro Duque. Twenty questions were selected. We circulated them in our previous news bulletin.

Sunday 26 October 2003, Vigo the city on the Atlantic Ocean in Galicia, northwestern Spain. A new museum has been built there recently, devoted to all forms of communication between humans: Verbum, Casa das Palabras, the House of Words. This was the venue for the winners of “Habla ISS”.

At 12:45 local time, the main meeting room was crowded: the six classes, the authorities, the media. Three times the twenty children whose questions had been selected had trained, reading their question in the ground station’s microphone. Now they were ready. On the big screen they could see the ISS crossing the American continent and soon the Atlantic. Angel Rodriguez Granja, EA1BE addressed the audience and explained how the radio contact was going to be performed. ESA astronaut Umberto Guidoni, who was among the ESA representatives, presented greetings and took place near Angel who started calling NA1SS.

At 13:07 (12:07 UTC), right on time, Pedro Duque, ED4ISS operating NA1SS answered the call. During the pass of the ISS in the sky of Vigo, Pedro answered in Spanish sixteen questions put by the children.

The event was webcast real time by EA1RCT, the RadioClub of the University of Vigo while the national and regional radio and TV stations, as well as the newspapers, reported abundantly.

The audio of both Spanish ARISS School Contacts with Ourense and with Vigo is available on the ARISS-Europe website:

Go to News Bulletins, select 28/10/2003 and click on the link at the end of the text.

Other sites related to these contacts:  

Listen to the Ourense contact
Listen to the Vigo contact


Gaston Bertels

ARISS-Europe Chairman