Saturday July 23, 2011 at 09:45 UTC, i.e. 11:45 local time, ESA Space Camp 2011, San Rossore Park, Pisa, Italy established direct ARISS contact with NASA astronaut Michael E. Fossum KF5AQG onboard the International Space Station. Astronaut Fossum operated with the ISS callsign OR4ISS. The ESA Space Camp 2011 operated the contact with ARI “Versilia” club station callsign IQ5VR.


The ESA Space Camp is an exceptional forum for reinforcing the ESA corporate spirit among the children who take part and for learning about space and ESA activities, and a good opportunity to do sports and socialize. More then 150 children and teenagers from all over Europe will participate to the European Space Agency (ESA) Camp which this year will take place in San Rossore, Pisa, Italy. The participants are children of ESA employees, aged 8-17 years old, who will enjoy a rich program of sport, nature and science activities during the two weeks of the camp (16-30 July).


ARISS mentor Francesco De Paolis, IK0WGF proposed to the radio contact coordinator for ARISS event to set up a direct contact with assistance from the ARISS telebridge station IK1SLD installed at Casale Monferrato Airport, Piemonte, Italy.  Alessandro Tesconi IK5EHI, radio contact coordinator, decided in favor of this setup.


The contact took place at San Rossore Park, near Pisa where an audience of about 200 children, teenagers and staff members participated to the ARISS event. Before the contact, ESA  Astronaut Paolo Nespoli IZ0JPA presented ARISS and the operation of a contact with the ISS via Ham Radio.  During the rehearsel session of questions by the children of the ESA Camp, Paolo Nespoli kindly and efficiently simulated the ARISS contact.


At 09:45 UTC, contact with OR4ISS was established by station IQ5VR. ESA  Astronaut Paolo Nespoli IZ0JPA presented the event and exchanged welcome greetings with  astronaut Michael E. Fossum KF5AQG. Using the Kenwood radio in the Service Module, Michael Fossum answered all 20 questions from he students. Paolo Nesoli IZ0JPA exchanged final greetings with Michael E. Fossum KF5AQG and closed the contact. During the pass, the signal from the ISS was loud and clear.


ESA covered the event.


Live Streaming video was available on:


The video (and audio) of the event is available here:


Congratulations to IK5EHI Team (and ARISS Telebridge station IK1SLD)!




Francesco De Paolis, IK0WGF

ARISS mentor

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audio recording