June 7, 2010




Monday, 7 June 2010 at 09:40 UTC, i.e. 11:40 local time, “Andrea Ponti” School in Gallarate (Varese), Italy established a direct radio contact with NASA astronaut Tracy E. Caldwell-Dyson, KF5DBF on board the International Space Station. The Amateur Radio school station operated the contact with callsign I2JRY.


The Technical Industrial State Institute (ITIS) was established on 1st October 1959, in Gallarate, as a textile course with its head office in Giovane Italia square. In 1961 the School opened the Telecommunication specialization. Later, in 1964, the Industrial Electronics specialization and in 1969-70 the Electrotechnics specialization were added. In 1999, the Aeronautics Constructions course started, followed in 2004 by the Industrial Computer Science course. The school is attended by 1000 students aged 14-19.


Mr. Mauro Scambroglio, IW2KVT made arrangements for a direct contact. The questions were read by students of “Andrea Ponti” School.


At 09:40 UTC contact with OR4ISS  was established by amateur radio club station I2JRY. Amateur radio club station at “Cittadella Mediterranea della Scienza” in Bari (south Italy), linked by phone line to the “Andrea Ponti” school, was ready to operate as backup ground station if needed. Astronaut Tracy E. Caldwell-Dyson, KF5DBF answered all questions and greetings and thanks were exchanged. The signals from the ISS were loud and clear all the time.


An audience of more than 250 students, teachers, visitors and media assisted to the contact from several classrooms, connected by multimedia screens. Before the contact, ARISS mentor Francesco De Paolis, IK0WGF introduced the event and ARISS activities with a presentation via phone line.


Local media and newspapers covered the event.


The event was distributed by webcast on: http://www.livestream.com/isscontact


Congratulations to Gallarate staff and ARISS Puglia 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