Saturday, January 31, 2015 at 08:39 UTC, 09:39 local time, students at "Istituto Salesiano G. Bearzi” in Udine and Intercultura students at "Centro Giovanno XXIII" in Frascati, Roma, Italy established ARISS contact with ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, IZØUDF onboard the International Space Station. These were telebridge contacts performed by Amateur radio ground stations K6DUE, located in Maryland, USA.

Presentation Istituto Salesiano “G. Bearzi
Brief description of the school and the amateur radio school club (if there is one): The school is a salesian school with 750 students, from 6 to 20 years old. We have also a small hostel for college students.   

Presentation of Intercultura
Intercultura is the Italian representative of AFS Intercultural Programs (New York, an international, no profit, voluntary based organization that provides intercultural learning opportunities and cultural exchange programs throughout more than 60 different countries in the world, involving every year 13.000 students and an equivalent number of families and schools. In Italy, Intercultura is a no profit organization (Onlus) recognized by the Italian government, under the patronage of the Ministry of Foreign  Affairs. The professional staff of Intercultura is made by 40 people who work in the headquarter of Colle Val D’Elsa (Siena) or in the PR offices based in Milan and Rome. The 4.000 affiliated volunteers are organized in 150 local chapters and offer voluntary work to promote international school based exchange programs.

Mentor Francesco De Paolis IK0WGF proposed to the radio coordinators Mr. Antonio Baldin IW3QKU and Mr. Emanuele D'Andria IØELE the sharing of event and this was accepted. A phone conference call allowed the full sharing of the event between two contact sites involved, moderated by Mr. Peter Kofler, IN3GHZ. The sequence of questions was made alternately by the students at two contact sites involved.

Contact was established at 08:39 UTC, 09:39 local time with NA1SS via K6DUE. ESA Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti IZØUDF answered 12 questions by students.
Samantha Cristoforetti was really very accurate in giving the answers and full of details. Signals from the ISS were good during both ISS passes, but suffering a few moments of fading.

Regional and Local Televisions and newspapers covered the event.
About 500 students, parents, visitors and media attended the events at contact sites.
After the contact, Mrs. Rosa Tagliamonte and Mr. Salvatore  Pignataro by ASI (Italian Space Agency) presented Cristoforetti mission and Italian contribution to International Space Station. Mr. Emanule D'Andria IØELE presented ARISS and explained how a contact with the ISS is performed via Ham Radio.

The contact established with NA1SS was live on AMSAT Italia channel:

The event was announced on ESA Portal - National News:

Congratulations to IW3QKU and IØELE Teams!


Francesco De Paolis, IK0WGF
ARISS Mentor


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