Friday, October 14 2011 at 11:03 UTC, which is 13:03 CEST, Istituto Superiore G. Curcio, Ispica, Ragusa, Italy established an ARISS contact with NASA astronaut Michael E. Fossum KF5AQG onboard the International Space Station. Astronaut Michael E. Fossum operated with ISS callsign NA1SS. This was a telebridge contact performed by ARISS ground station W6SRJ located at Santa Rosa, California, USA.

The G.Curcio High School offers various courses which deal with scientific, linguistic, classical and other subjects, dedicated to professional and technical studies. The school comprises two buildings with different facilities and laboratories for chemistry and physics. There are also language and computer labs, a library and a gym. The student population is about 1,500 and there are about 100 teachers. The students were very motivated for taking part in this project with the ISS, in line with their interests and fields of study. Students are very open-minded and ready for new experiences. There are many projects running that stimulate and promote their curiosity, such as training courses with companies in the commercial and tourist field, cultural exchange, programs with other European countries, participation to the International Conference NHSMUN at the UN in New York City and presently the radio contact with the International Space Station.

ARISS mentor Francesco De Paolis, IK0WGF proposed to the radio contact coordinator for this event to set up a telebridge contact. Mr. Salvatore Monaca, IT9RIF the radio contact coordinator, decided in favor of this setup. Mr. Gaston Bertels, ON4WF moderated the session. The questions were read by the students at G.Curcio High School in Ispica where an audience of about 200 students, teachers, visitors and media participated to the ARISS event.

At 11:03 UTC, contact with NA1SS was established by station W6SRJ and the operator presented the event to NASA astronaut Michael E. Fossum KF5AQG. Using the amateur station aboard the ISS Service Module, the astronaut answered 14 questions prepared by students and exchanged greetings. During the pass the signal from ISS was loud and clear.

Two newspapers and three broadcast television stations covered the ARISS event.

Streaming video was for both contacts on:

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

Congratulations to Istituto G.Curcio Team and to W6SRJ !


Francesco IK0WGF

ARISS mentor


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