The second amateur radio link-up between ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli and Italian students took place yesterday morning at around 8:33 CET (07:33 UT). This link-up continues the Amateur Radio on the ISS (ARISS) educational activity, which is part of the joint ESA-ASI programme of education activities for the Esperia mission.
About 300 students aged 16-18 participated from two schools in Italy: the Liceo Scientifico ‘G. Galilei’, Civitavecchia, and ITI-LST ‘Mottura’, Caltanissetta. The students followed the same scheme as the first link-up two days ago, and took turns to talk with the enthusiastic Nespoli.
“Today’s event has given Italian students an opportunity to take part in an international collaboration between ESA, ASI and NASA, with the support of ARISS,” said Sylvie IJsselstein, representing the ESA Human Spaceflight and Exploration education programme. “All of us have the same goal, not only to increase the awareness of youngsters in space research and technology, but above all to provide them with the motivation and encouragement to go for new space challenges and enterprises.”
One hour later, an audio-visual link was made between the Node 2, attached to the ISS, and the official Presidential residence at Palazzo del Quirinale. Here, Nespoli informed Italian President Giorgio Napolitano about his recent contact with the students while in space.
“This link with the young generation and the schools is really superb,” replied the Italian President. “I believe that the seeds you are planting will soon reap its benefits. It is necessary to give youngsters the hope, stimuli, and dreams that allow us to look, with faith, towards the future.”