Wednesday, 23 October, 2013 at 12:43 UTC, 14:43 local time and at 14:20 UTC, 16:20 local time, IPSSEOA, Castellana Grotte and "Liceo Classico e Linguistico C. Sylos", Bitonto, Italy established a direct contacts with ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano KF5KDP, onboard the International Space Station. This was a direct contact performed by Amateur radio ground station IZ7RTN, located at "Cittadella Mediterranea della Scienza", University of Bari.


IPSSEOA, Castellana Grotte

The School IPSSEOA in Castellana Grotte is a Secondary High School for Tourism: Hotel and Catering. It serves the educational needs of the town because it is the biggest Secondary High School in town. It caters for boys and girls, aged from 14 to 19 years. Located in one of the regions tourist areas, it is in the centre of the pleasant town of Castellana  Grotte, in the south-east of the APULIA region, south-east of Italy.In its Curriculum the school focus on: Catering and Hotel Reception Communication, Catering and Hotel Reception Competence, Media Communication, the Environment, Food and beverage critical analysis, Science activities in Food and beverage lab. The school has three locations, five computer rooms, a scientific laboratory of Food Science, 48 classrooms. At present there are 1000 students on roll and they attend the regular class daily, from 8.00 am to 1.00 pm.


Liceo Classico e Linguistico C. Sylos, Bitonto

Our  school Liceo Classico e Linguistico C. Sylos is in Bitonto , a town near Bari in Puglia, south-east of Italy.  It is divided in two courses: the Classics, specialized in classical languages as Latin and Greek, and the Linguistic which is specialized in modern languages as English , French, Spanish and German. The students who attend our school are about 600, and they come, above all, from Bitonto but also from near towns. Our students are from 14 to 19 years old. We do lots of extra activities in the afternoon , so the school is always opened until 8 pm. Our lyceum is located in the historical centre of  Bitonto, its an old building which was built in the 17th century as a monastery. From monastery it became a school at the end of 19th century and a lot of important people in our town have been educated here.


Mentor Francesco De Paolis IKWGF proposed to the radio coordinator Mr. Michele Mallardi IZ7EVR, alternating questions by students from both schools and this was accepted. More than 200 students (from both schools), parents, visitors and media attended the event that took place at "Cittadella Mediterranea della Scienza", University of Bari.


Contact was established at 12:43 UTC, 14:43 local time, with IRISS. Astronaut Luca Parmitano answered 18 questions and before LOS the radio contact coordinator proposed to astronaut complete the sequence of the questions during the following orbit. Parmitano agreed. Signals from the ISS was loud and clear during the ISS pass.

At 14:20 UTC, 16:20 local time, contact was established again with Luca Parmitano, who answered the additional 5 questions and exchanged the greetings with both schools before to close the contact. During the contact occurred some decay of communication most likely due to attenuation of radiation from the ISS structures and the low elevation angle between ground station and ISS.


IK1SLD provided assistance for both contacts.


Regional Television, local media and newspapers covered the event.


Streaming video on


The event was announced on ESA Portal - National News:


Congratulations to IZ7RTN and IK1SLD Teams!




Francesco De Paolis, IKWGF

ARISS Mentor