Tuesday, 25 January, 2011 at 07:11 UTC and 08:46 UTC, i.e. 08:11 and 09:46 local time, “Istituto Comprensivo Marco da Melo”, Mel, Belluno, Italy”, established a double contact with Italian astronaut PAOLO NESPOLI, IZ0JPA on board the International Space Station. ESA astronaut NESPOLI operated with the special Italian callsign IR0ISS that he will use during his mission. The “Istituto Comprensivo Marco da Melo”, Mel, Belluno, Italy” operated the contact with callsign I3XFY.


The “Istituto Comprensivo Marco da Melo” is a state school (primary and middle) and is meant for students aged 6 to 14 years old. It has about 250 students. Its name " Marco da Melo" comes from a historic character ( a painter ) of the 16th century. The school is situated in a wide valley, Val Belluna ( the valley of Belluno ). All the subjects included in the national regulations for this age bracket are taught: Italian, History, Geography, Science, Maths, foreign languages, Art, Music and I.T. Some technological workshops have been started up for three years  and for the students of the last school year with the help of the radioamateurs of the local radio club of Feltre. Themes related to telecommunication are dealt experiments of electrophysics are carried out as well as CW tests. Footage and slides related to the world of the radio are shown.


ARISS mentor Francesco De Paolis, IK0WGF proposed to the radio contact coordinator in Mel, Belluno a direct contact with assistance by ARISS Telebridge station IK1SLD installed at Casale Monferrato Airport, Piemonte, Italy. Alberto Sasso I3XFY, contact coordinator for this ISS contact, decided in favour of a direct with assistance by IK1SLD telebridge station. The questions were read by the students at school where an audience of about 250 students, teachers, visitors and media assisted to the contact.


At 07:11 UTC, contact with IR0ISS was established by station I3XFY. Astronaut Paolo NESPOLI answered 13 questions. At 08:46 UTC, contact with IR0ISS was again established by station I3XFY. Paolo NESPOLI answered 8 more questions and closing the contact exchanged greetings. The signal from the ISS was loud and clear all the time from the site during the each pass.


Regional Television RAI, local media and newspapers covered the event.


Streaming video counted more than 50 connections on:


ARISS contact was announced by web story on ESA Portal - National News:


Congratulations to both ARISS “I3XFY” and “IK1SLD” teams!




Francesco De Paolis, IK0WGF

ARISS mentor


recording 1
recording 2