Monday 15 December 2014 at 15:18 UTC, which is 16.18 CEWT, students from Istituto Tecnico Statale  Economico e Tecnologico Elena di Savoia Piero Calamandrei, Bari, Italy AND State Technical Institute of Technology Alessandro Volta, Bitonto (BARI) established ARISS contact with ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti IZ0UDF onboard the International Space Station. The astronaut operated with the ISS callsign IR0ISS. This was a direct contact performed by Amateur radio ground station IZ7EVR, located at Elena di Savoia school in Bari, Italy.


Presentation Istituto Tecnico Statale  Economico e Tecnologico Elena di Savoia Piero Calamandrei:

The School I.I.S.S. Elena di Savoia Piero Calamandrei  is a technological (chemistry and environmental biotechnology, chemical and healthcare biotechnology) and economic (financial administration and marketing) school. It serves the educational needs of the town and the metropolitan area of Bari in southern Italy. It caters for boys and girls, aged fourteen-eighteen. Located in one of the regional tourist areas, it is in the suburbs of the pleasant town of Bari, in the south-east of the APULIA region, south-east of Italy. The curriculum focuses on health, environment, science activities in lab., chemistry and biochemistry, microbiology. The sanitary and environmental section of the school has an auditorium,  three computer rooms, two chemical laboratories, two biological laboratories, a physics laboratory, a new biology laboratory, five multimedia boards, twenty five classrooms. At present there are five hundred students on roll and they attend classes daily, from 8.15 am to 1.00 pm.


The school, located in multi-district Japigia south of the city of Bari, covers several three floor buildings. One of these structures comprises an auditorium, a gym,  25 classrooms and 8 laboratories. The technology sector includes the study of chemistry and environmental biotechnology, chemical and healthcare biotechnology. The economics division covers international relations and marketing. The school  has a total of 800 students.


Presentation State Technical Institute of Technology Alessandro Volta:


The  Alessandro Volta school teaches communications, social-history, mathematics, science and technology in different contexts: life, study, job. In addition it fosters useful competence, allowing students to access  continuous innovations through 3 specializations: Mechanics and Mechatronics, IT and Telecommunications, Electronics and Electro-technics.


ARISS mentor Francesco De Paolis, IK0WGF proposed to Radio Contact Coordinator Mr. Michele Mallardi IZ7EVR to set up a direct contact, with the support by IK1SLD back-up ground station, and this was accepted. The event took place in Elena di Savoia school, where an audience of more than 200 students, visitors (including some Italian Air Force officers) and Media (2 TV, 2 newspapers) participated at contact site, and about 200 at both schools. Total of more than 400 people.


Before the contact, Mrs. Rosa Tagliamonte by ASI (Italian Space Agency) presented Cristoforetti mission and Italian contribution to International Space Station. Mr. Michele Mallardi IZ7EVR presented ARISS and explained how a contact with the ISS is performed via Ham Radio.


At 15:18 UTC contact with IR0ISS was established by IZ7EVR ground station. Radio operator Michele Mallardi exchanged welcome greetings and presented the schools to ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti IZ0UDF. Using the Ericsson radio in the Columbus Module, the astronaut answered all 20 questions from the students, exchanged final greetings, wish for Christmas and closed the contact. The space  conversation was conducted in Italian. During the whole pass (about 9 30) the signal from the ISS was loud and clear, as confirmed by many listeners in Europe.


Live Streaming video was available on:


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


Congratulations to the schools, ARISS Puglia Team and IK1SLD back-up station, operated by Claudio Ariotti, IK1SLD.




Francesco De Paolis, IK0WGF

ARISS mentor