Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 10:03 UTC, i.e. 12:03 local time, students from Sarnelli De Donato Middle School, Polignano a Mare, Bari, Italy 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:


Sarnelli De Donato School is a middle school. It caters for boys and girls, aged 11-14. Located in one of the regionís tourist areas, it is situated in the suburbs of the pleasant town of Polignano a Mare, in the south-east of the APULIA region, south-east of Italy. In its Curriculum the school focuses on: Space Communication, Media Communication, the Environment, Science activities in lab. The school has a gym, an auditorium, a music room, two computer rooms, a new scientific laboratory, a video room, 22 classrooms. At present there are 526 students on roll and they attend the regular class daily, from 8.00 am to 1.00 pm.


ARISS mentor Francesco De Paolis, IK0WGF proposed to Radio Contact Coordinator Mr. Michele Mallardi IZ7EVR to set up a telebridge contact and this was accepted. The event took place in the school, where an audience of more than 150 students, visitors and media participated. Before the contact, Mr. Michele Mallardi IZ7EVR presented ARISS and explained how a contact with the ISS is performed via Ham Radio.


At 10:03 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 15 questions from the students, exchanged final greetings and closed the contact. During the all pass, the signal from the ISS was loud and clear.


The event was covered by Regional TV stations and newspapers.


Live Streaming video was available on:


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


Congratulations to the school, ARISS Puglia Team and ARISS telebridge station W6SRJ, operated by Tim Bosma.




Francesco De Paolis, IK0WGF

ARISS mentor


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