ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano back home

11 November 2013 ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano, Russian commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg returned to Earth, landing in the Kazakhstan steppe. Their return flight, landing at 02:49 GMT (03:49 CEWT), was in the same Soyuz TMA-09M spacecraft that flew them to the International Space Station on 29 May.

Luca spent five months on the International Space Station for his VOLARE mission under a bilateral agreement with the Italian space agency and NASA. He conducted more than 30 scientific experiments, performed two spacewalks and operational tasks as well as maintaining the orbital outpost.

Luca Parmitano has proven to be an enthusiastic and passionate radioamateur with great availability for ARISS school contacts. When all questions prepared by the students could not be answered during the scheduled pass, Luca used to come back whenever possible to continue the space talk on the following orbit.

In terms of ARISS school contacts performed during a single expedition, Luca Parmitano is 4th in ranking of the ISS astronauts.

Luca expressed his feelings regarding amateur radio in a message entitled "Message in a bottle", published on the ESA blog. Luca Parmitano went beyond his mandate as ISS crew member and HAM operator for ARISS school contacts, performing many random contacts with hams on earth.

Francesco De Paolis, IK0WGF served as manager for the IRISS logbook, collecting reports from ISS for most of the random contacts, totaling 231 QSOs.

Our thanks to Luca Parmitano who did the effort to log the QSOs and to forward the log to earth for almost all random contacts.

All details about IRISS random contacts during the "Volare" mission are available at:

Many thanks also to ARISS Europe School Contacts Manager Francesco De Paolis IK0WGF for his great work and support.


Gaston Bertels, ON4WF

ARISS Europe chairman