Saturday, May 9, 2015 at 09:52 UTC, 11.52 local time students at Istituto Tecnico Industriale Statale Enrico Fermi in Lucca, Italy and Universita degli Studi di Firenze  Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia in Sesto Fiorentino, Italy established ARISS contact with ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, IZĜUDF onboard the International Space Station. These were direct contacts performed by Amateur radio ground stations IQ5LU, located at Enrico Fermi High School, Lucca, Italy  and IQ5PO located at Universita di Firenze, Sesto Fiorentino, Italy.

Presentation Enrico Fermi High School:
State Technical Industrial Institute is named to Enrico Fermi and is located in Lucca, Northern Tuscany. 5 years courses in Mechanics, Electrotechnology, Electronics, Information and Communication Technology with several laboratories. About 700 students aged 15-19.

Presentation Universita di Firenze:
In the Scientific Campus (Polo Scientifico) of the University of Florence activities for secondary school’s students are organized by  OpenLab. OpenLab, which has been active since 2002, is the service of education and communication of the University of Florence and it is dedicated to science popularization in different areas (physics, chemistry, biology). OpenLab includes interactive laboratories, conferences, stages, visits to research laboratories. For Physics we have more than 1000 students every year (primary and secondary school).

Mentor Francesco De Paolis IK0WGF proposed to the radio coordinators Mr. Alessandro Tesconi IK5EHI and Mr. Andrea Ghirardi IK5QLO to set a combined direct contact, with the support by IK1SLD back-up ground station and this was accepted. A phone conference call allowed the full sharing of the events between all the contact sites involved. The sequence of questions was made alternately by the students of each school.

Contact was established at  09:52 UTC, 11.52 local time with IRĜISS via IQ5PO and then via IQ5LU, alternately. During the scheduled contact ESA Astroaut Samantha Cristoforetti answered 22 questions from students.  Signals from the ISS were good during the whole pass.

The contact established with IRĜISS was live webcast: (from Lucca) (from Firenze)

Regional and Local Televisions and newspapers covered the event also.
About 500 students, parents, visitors and media attended the events at contact sites.

The event was announced on ESA Portal - National News:

Congratulations to IQ5PO and IQ5LU Teams!

Francesco De Paolis, IK0WGF

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