Saturday, 29 June, 2013 at 11.57 UTC, 13.57 local time and at 13.27 UTC, 15.27 local time, Scuola Secondaria 1° grado “Arturo Toscanini”, Capiago Intimiano and Scuola Media "Massimiliano Kolbe", Vercurago, Lecco, Italy estabilished a combined telebridge and direct contact with ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano KF5KDP, onboard the the International Space Station.

Scuola Secondaria 1° grado “Arturo Toscanini” operated the direct contact with callsign IZ2WLC, but due to local antenna obscuration, on AOS and LOS, needed help via telebridge from IK1SLD,  located in Casale Monferrato, Piemonte, Italy. Simultaneously Scuola Media "Massimiliano Kolbe" was connected via conference call. Questions were alternated between the two schools.

“Arturo Toscanini” school is located in Capiago Intimiano, a small town in the north part of Italy, 7 km far from Como. Como and the surrounding area can be clearly seen from space due to the unique shape of Lario lake (like a Y upside down). The school is named after “Arturo Toscanini”, a famous musician and conductor who lived at the end of the 19th and in early 20th century.


“Massimiliano Kolbe” is a secondary school with students aged from 10 to 14. It is housed in a government built sanatorium, converted to a school in 1970.


Vercurago is a small town not far from Lecco, built on the shores of Garlate’s lake (as it comes out of Lario lake and become Adda river).


Before the contact students were trained with various classroom lectures about life in space, astronomy and radio technique by experts from ARI Erba (Associazione Radioamatori Italiani), ISAA (Italian Space and Astronautics Association) and Gruppo Astrofili Deep Space from the local planetarium.


Mentors Francesco De Paolis IKØWGF and Gianpietro Ferrario IZ2GOJ decided for a combined direct and telebridge contact, in order to overcome the problem of local antenna obscuration in Capiago Intimiano. Additionally they proposed both schools to share the event, alternating questions from both sites. ARISS Lombardia Team, coordinating the event, agreed and set up the station for a combined direct and telebridge. The questions were read, alternatively, by “Arturo Toscanini” and “Massimilano Kolbe”. More than 150 students, parents, visitors and media attended the event.


Contact was established at 11.57 UTC, 13.57 local time, with IRØISS. Astronaut Luca Parmitano answered 20 questions and before LOS surprisingly promised to be back on the following orbit to complete the questions sequence. Signal from the ISS was loud and clear during the entire pass.


At 13.27 UTC, 15.27 local time, contact was established again with Luca Parmitano, who answered the remaining 8 questions and listened to greetings presented by the heads of both schools.


IK1SLD provided assistance, for both contacts, immediately after AOS and before LOS, offering the  students full contact time during each pass, in spite of the local obscurations due to surrounding hills.


Regional Television, local media and newspapers covered the event.


Streaming video counted more than 100 connections on

Video of event available here:


This ARISS contact was announced by a web story on ESA Portal – National News:


Congratulations to ARISS Lombardia and IK1SLD Teams!




Francesco De Paolis, IKØWGF – ARISS Mentor

Gianpietro Ferrario, IZ2GOJ – ARISS Mentor



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