December 18, 2008


Thursday, 18 December 2008 at 12:10 UTC, i.e. 13:10 local time, “Gianni Rodari” School, Porto S. Elpidio, Italy, established a direct contact with US astronaut Mike Fincke KE5AIT on board the International Space Station. The Amateur Radio school station operated the contact with callsign I6KZR.

The students had been involved in the preparation of this ARISS event in different ways. The training of the students comprised educative activities related to space under guidance of the teachers’ team, listening ARISS contacts during the weeks before the ARISS event.

Mr. Renzo Ciarpella, I6KZR, the contact coordinator for this ISS contact, decided in favour of a direct contact. Before the contact, ARISS mentor Francesco De Paolis, IK0WGF introduced the event with ARISS presentation by telephone conference. The questions were read by the pupils. The contact site was located in the school, where an audience of more than 300, students, parents, teachers, visitors and the mass media could follow the contact.

At 12:10 UTC, contact with OR4ISS was established by station I6KZR. Commander Mike Fincke answered 21 questions. The sequence of the questions finished 2 minutes before LOS has allowed to thank astronaut for the participation and invite him to visite this school. The astronaut sent greetings, speaking in Italian, at the beginning and at end of the contact. Thanks Mike! The signal from the ISS was loud and clear all the time.

The audio was forwarded to EchoLink servers by “Phone-Patch”.

RAI3 Regional Television and some local media and newspapers covered the event.

Congratulations to the “Gianni Rodari” team!

Photos and an mp3 audio file will be attached to this News Bulletin, archived at:


Francesco De Paolis, IK0WGF

ARISS mentor

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Audio mp3