January 25, 2008



On Tuesday January  22nd  2008, the Shuttle STS-120 crew met Italian students in the “Aula Magna” of  “La Sapienza” University in Rome. The crew was almost complete, with Commander Pamela Melroy,  Scott Parazynski, Doug Wheelock, Stephanie Wilson, Paolo Nespoli and Clay Anderson.

Schools attending the event were:  “La Sapienza” University with 150 students from Aerospace Engineering degree, “Alberto Sordi” Secondary School in Rome (150 Student), “A. La Briola” High School from Ostia (50 students), ITIS “Faraday” from Ostia (20 students), “Pasteur” High School in Rome (60 students). 

Moreover all schools involved in recent ARISS events/contacts were present: “Giosuč Carducci” Secondary School from Santa Marinella (30 students), “Galileo Galilei” High School from Civitavecchia (65 students), Faculty of Engineering from University of L’Aquila (50 students) and representatives from ITIS “Mottura” of Caltanisetta, IIS “Deambrosis- Natta” of Sestri Levante, IIS “Vittorio Emanulele” of Genova, IIS “Maserati” of Voghera (15 students). Audience amounted to 590 students!


After opening talks from the “Magnifico Rettore” of “La Sapienza” University and from Italian Space Agency (ASI) representatives, the crew was presented to the students. The crew presented a detailed description of their mission, supported by splendid videos. The importance and the role of educational activities during space missions was highlighted by all crewmembers. The official STS-120 video gives full visibility to ARISS schools contacts. Thank you STS-120 crew!

Some time was devoted to let the crew answer questions from students.


The crew were offered gifts from every school involved. Paolo Nespoli, Pamela Melroy and Clay Anderson received a “special” QSL-card from schools/universities which participated to the ARISS contacts.

The event lasted more than two hours in an atmosphere of enthusiasm and sympathy. Special guest was Princess Elettra Marconi.


Several TV stations and newspapers covered the event.



Francesco De Paolis, IKŘWGF, ARISS mentor


STS-120 photo 01

STS-120 photo 02

STS-120 photo 03

STS-120 photo 04

STS-120 photo 05

STS-120 photo 06

STS-120 photo 07