December 15, 2009




Monday, 14 December 2009 at 08:30 UTC, i.e. 09:30 local time, Comprehensive School of Govone – “Nino Costa” di Priocca Middle School, Cuneo, Italy established a direct contact with NASA astronaut Jeffrey Williams KD5TVQ on board the International Space Station. The Amateur Radio school station operated the contact with callsign IK1SLD.

The two Junior High schools "Nino Costa" of Priocca and "T.L. Dalmasso" of Govone are integral part of the Comprehensive School of Govone in the province of Cuneo.  The municipal territories of the Comprehensive School of Govone are situated on the left bank of the river Tanaro; this district, which is a hill country, is called "Roero" and it's famous for its fine wines.  The inhabitants live mostly in the plain where the schools can also be found while on the top of the hill there is the old town centre where is the townhall. The students came from the small towns of Govone, Priocca, Magliano Alfieri, Castellinaldo, San Damiano.  The school is attended by about 300 pupils, aged between 3 and 13 years.

Claudio Ariotti, IK1SLD radio contact coordinator decided in favour of a direct contact. All questions were read by the students of “Nino Costa” Middle School. The contact site were located at InfiniTo Astronomic Parck in Pino Torinese, Torino, where an audience of more than 150 students, teachers, visitors and media could follow the contact. After the contact, ARISS mentor Francesco De Paolis, IK0WGF commented the event with by phone.

At 08:30 UTC, contact with OR4ISS was established by station IK1SLD. Astronaut Jeffrey Williams KD5TVQ answered 22 questions by direct contact. The signals from the ISS were loud and clear all the time.

Regional Television, local media and newspapers covered the event. The audio and video was distributed on - about 150 Contacts by Web streaming from France 66, Italy 52, USA 25, Poland 15, Belgium 6, Switzerland 3, United Kingdom 3, Austria 2.

Congratulations to Infinito planetarium and ARI Casale Monferrato team!

ARISS is an international educational outreach program partnering the participating space agencies, NASA, Russian Space Agency, ESA, CNES, JAXA, and CSA, with the AMSAT and IARU organizations from participating countries.

ARISS offers an opportunity for students to experience the excitement of Amateur Radio by talking directly with crewmembers onboard the International Space Station. Teachers, parents and communities see, first hand, how Amateur Radio and crewmembers on ISS can energize youngsters' interest in science, technology and learning.


Francesco De Paolis, IK0WGF

ARISS mentor


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