Saturday July 06, 2013 at 17:02 UTC, i.e. 19:02 local time, students from Association Intercultura Onlus established ARISS contact with ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano, KF5KDP onboard the International Space Station. The astronaut operated with the ISS callsign NA1SS. This was a telebridge contact performed by Amateur radio ground station W6SRJ, located in Santa Rosa, California, USA.

School presentation:

Intercultura is the Italian representative of AFS Intercultural Programs (
New York), an international non profit organization that provides intercultural learning opportunities and cultural exchange programs in more than 60 countries, involving every year 13.000 students and an equivalent number of families and schools.

In Italy, Intercultura is a no profit organization (ONLUS) recognised by the Italian government, under the patronage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.The professional staff of Intercultura counts 40 people who work in the headquarter of Colle Val dElsa (Siena) or in the PR offices based in Milan and Rome.The 4.000 affiliated volunteers are organized in 140 local chapters offering their voluntary work to promote international school based exchange programs.

ARISS mentor Francesco De Paolis, IKWGF proposed to coordinator Teacher Mr. Raffaele Pirola to set up a telebridge contact and this was accepted. The event took place in the Giovanni XXIII conference center in Frascati, near
Rome, where an audience of more than 500 students, visitors and media participated. Before the contact, Francesco De Paolis, IKWGF presented ARISS and explained how a contact with the ISS is performed via Ham Radio and Mrs. Delfina Bertolotto by ASI (Italian Space Agency) presented Parmitano mission and Italian contribution to International Space Station.

17:02 UTC, contact with NA1SS was established by ARISS telebridge ground station W6SRJ. Telebridge operator Tim Bosma exchanged welcome greetings and presented the school to ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano, KF5KDP. Using the Ericsson radio in the Columbus Module, the astronaut answered 14 questions from the students, exchanged final greetings and closed the contact. During the most part of the pass, the signal from the ISS was loud and clear.

The contact was broadcasted on EchoLink AMSAT (node 101 377) and JK1ZRW (node 277 208) Conference servers, as well as on IRLP Discovery Reflector 9010.

The event was covered by National TV stations and newspapers. See:

Live Streaming video was available on:

Video of the contact is available also here:

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

Congratulations to the school, the IKWGF team, John AG9D and ARISS telebridge station W6SRJ, operated by Tim Bosma.


Francesco De Paolis, IKWGF - ARISS mentor
Gianpietro Ferrario, IZ2GOJ ARISS moderator