November 9, 2005




Wednesday 9 November 2005 at 10:30 UTC, i.e. 11:30 local time, the Istituto Comprensivo Francesco Negri in Casale Monferrato, Italy, established a telebridge contact with US astronaut William McArthur, KC5ACR, on board the International Space Station, via the ARISS Ground Station in Hawaii operated by Nancy Rocheleau, WH6PN. Will Marchant was the moderator of the contact.


The school center “Istituto Comprensivo Francesco Negri” in Casale Monferrato consists of a kindergarten, an elementary school, a middle school (totaly 735 pupils) and a center of education and formation of adult people (900 adult students) and is located in the north-western part of Italy, alongshore the biggest italian river “Po”, exactly between the two cities Milano and Torino, the city of the next Winter Olympic Games in 2006.

Casale Monferrato was build by the Romans; it was located along the salt-route between ancient Rome and the center of Europe. Today, agriculture is very important in the economy of the area, above all the production of the famous italian long grain rice.


Claudio Ariotti, IK1SLD, the radio contact coordinator for this ISS contact did a very good job!

He implemented an audio link to the assembly hall where all the students of the school could follow the contact.

The audience in the assembly hall was big: the students of the school, teachers, parents, representatives of the Board of Directors and of the national and regional amateur radio associations, high representatives of the Ministry of Education, of the civilian and military authorities of the Province of Alessandria and of the Region Piemonte.


At exactly 10:30 UTC, right on schedule, contact with NA1SS was established by WH5PN. Astronaut William McArthur answered 20 questions on various topics. The astronaut replied for example that the temperature is about 20 to 22 degrees Celsius inside the module and about minus 150 degrees Celsius outside the module in the shadow. The signal was almost all the time absolutely clear and loud. During the answer of the 20th question the signal of the ISS went down. The coordinator Claudio Ariotti let the astronaut listen to the applause of the audience.


The national newspapers La Stampa, Il Giornale, Il Secolo XIX, the local newspapers Il Monferrato, La Vita Casalese, Il Piccolo, La Sesia and the radio channel Radio Deejay covered the event.

Because of a strike of the mass media a report of the contact will be broadcast in a few days by the TV channels RAI3 Piemonte, TG Leonardo RAI and Canale Satellitare di Roma.



73, Peter Kofler, IN3GHZ, ARISS mentor