Thursday, 28 April, 2011 06.54 UTC, i.e. 08.54 local time, Italian Air Force Academy in Pozzuoli, Napoli, Italy, established a ARISS contact with Italian astronaut PAOLO NESPOLI, IZ0JPA on board the International Space Station. This was a telebridge contact by ARISS ground station LU1CGB located in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Besides the Command & Administrative Staff, the Italian Air Force Academy is made up of three Departments: the Courses Department, the University Department and the General Technical Service Department. Their mission is to select and train the prospective commanders of the Italian Air Force. Among the cadets enlisted there are: pilots, navigators, general duty officers, engineers, lawyers and doctors.

ARISS mentor Francesco De Paolis, IK0WGF proposed a telebridge contact to Major Rosario Falanga, coordinator for this ARISS event. The questions were read by the officers students in the Academy auditorium with an audience of more than 400 officers students, teachers, visitors and media. The signal from the ISS was loud and clear all along the contact.

At 09:12 UTC contact with NA1SS was established by station LU1CGB. Welcome to Nespoli before of the sequence of questions and greetings in closing the contact by the Academy Commandant, General Umberto Baldi. Astronaut Paolo NESPOLI answered 10 questions. All officers students, motivated and future commanders of the Italian Air Force, participated to the event with great interest. After the event, one of the officers students revealed to have been guided to this choice of studies for having participated to an ARISS school contact during high school. A seed sprouted thanks to ARISS.

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

Congratulations to Italian Air Force Academy!


Francesco De Paolis, IK0WGF

ARISS mentor

audio recording