Friday, January 9, 2015 at 10:10 UTC, 11:10 local time and at 11:45 UTC, 12:45 local time, students at "Scuola Santa Teresa del Bambino Gesu" in Roma, students at "Istituto Salesiano Villa Sora" in Frascati and students at "Scuola Pontificia Pio IX" in  Roma, Italy established two ARISS contacts with ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, IZ0UDF onboard the International Space Station. These were direct/telebridge contacts performed by Amateur radio ground stations IK0USO, located at "Scuola Santa Teresa del Bambino Gesu" in Rome, and IW0CZC, located at "Istituto Salesiano Villa Sora" in Frascati, and via telebridge station IK1SLD for "Scuola Pontificia Pio IX" in Rome.


Scuola Santa Teresa del Bambino Gesu

The school “Santa Teresa del Bambino Gesu” is a catholic primary school in Rome, established to answer to the needs and demands for Catholic education by the local population. The school belongs to the Congregation of Missionary Carmelitane Sisters of Saint Therese of Jesus Child. The school is open to families that take care of the religious education and formation of their children. Preparation for the ISS radio contact has been underway for a long time, including educational projects on different scientific topics to support the special event.


Istituto Salesiano Villa Sora

Villa Sora is located on the side of the ancient Roman boulevard (now Via Tuscolana) in an area known as Tusculanus ager, which is full of sumptuous villas, including those of Cicero, Lucullus and Sulpicius Galba. This villa was built as a country house in the same grounds of Lucullus` villa in the mid-16th century and it was originally known as “Torricella”.  The earliest documentation of its history dates back to 1546, when the Chapel of Sancta Sanctorum of Rome owned the villa. The land currently measures over 6 acres and includes, in addition to the house and the school, a large park with several building lots.


The school of Villa Sora has a notable historical tradition.  Since 1925, it has a primary school and a liceo classico.  The liceo scientifico was founded in 1966 and in 1986 its admission was opened to girls.  In 1989, the middle school was created, and finally, in 2011, a new liceo economico sociale was founded. The middle school now has 200 students divided in three classes. The liceo classico has 180 students, the liceo scientifico 280 and the liceo economico sociale 80, for a total of 740 students.


Pontificia Scuola Pio IX was founded in 1859 by Pope Pius IX. It is an institute of a reknown tradition in Education, and it is based on the idea of educating students globally. It hosts both Roman Catholic students and students of different faiths, beliefs and religions. It is situated  near the Vatican but most of the students come from neighboring districts which have a younger population. The students come from different social classes and there are also students from different countries.

It offers the following courses:

•    Nursery School

•    Primary school

•    Secondary school (Scientific and Human Science)

The school has got modern equipment and spaces  constantly used to achieve its cultural goals and objectives. The school syllabus includes projects of international breath to stimulate the students and their citizenship. The school from its origins contemplates innovation and tradition.


Mentor Francesco De Paolis IK0WGF proposed to the radio coordinators Mr. Marcelo Teruel IK0USO, Mr. Srefano Castriotta IW0CZC and Mr. Emanuele D'Andria I0ELE the sharing of events and this was accepted. A phone conference call allowed the full sharing of the events between all the contact sites involved, coordinated by Mr. Claudio Ariotti, IK1SLD. The sequence of questions was made alternately by the students at three contact sites involved.


Contact was established at 10:10 UTC, 11:10 local time with IR0ISS via IW0CZC. Mr. Stefano Castriotta IW0CZC proposed to astronaut continue the contact during the following orbit.

ESA Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti IZ0UDF agreed. During the first scheduled contact Cristoforetti answered 8 questions from students.

Samantha Cristoforetti was really very accurate in giving the answers and full of details.


At 11:45 UTC, 12:45 local time, contact was established again with IR0ISS.

During the second random contact Cristoforetti answered 12 questions from students, exchanged  greetings and closed the contact.

Signals from the ISS were good during both ISS passes, but suffering a few moments of fading.


The first contact established with IR0ISS was live on national radio broadcast RADIO RAI3 SCIENZA, coordinated by Mr. Andra Borgnino IW0HK.

Both contacts were recorded by national television, RAI Parliament, for a special on AMSAT Italia and ARISS school contacts.

Regional and Local Televisions and newspapers covered the event also.

About 700 students, parents, visitors and media attended the events at contact sites.


Streaming video on:


The event was announced on ESA Portal - National News:


Congratulations to IK0USO, IW0CZC and IK1SLD teams!




Francesco De Paolis, IK0WGF

ARISS Mentor