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FW: PRESSE RELEASE POLIGNANO CONTACT, NOVEMBER 19, 2004



LEROY CHIAO TALKS WITH ITALIAN SCHOOL CENTER IN SOUTH-EAST 
ITALY

  

November 19, 2004

  

Friday 19 November 2004 at 14:34 UTC, i.e. 15:34 local 
time, the school center “Direzione Didattica Statale 1° 
Circolo” in Polignano a Mare near the city of Bari in 
south-east Italy performed a radio contact with US 
astronaut Leroy Chiao, KE5BRW, on board the International 
Space Station.

  

The school center “Direzione Didattica Statale 1° circolo” 
in Polignano-a-Mare consists of the elementary schools 
(pupils aged 6 to 11) “San Giovanni Bosco” (400 pupils) 
and “Gianni Rodari” (400 pupils) and the comprehensive 
school (pupils aged 11 to 14) “Pompeo Sarnelli” (600 
pupils).

Polignano-a-Mare is a small town located near the city of 
Bari in South-east Italy.

  

Michele Mallardi, IZ7EVR, the coordinator of the school 
station and operator of the radio contact, did a very good 
job!

The technical team of the local amateur radio club 
“Sezione ARI di Castellana Grotte” set up a satellite 
station with automatic antenna tracking as well as a 
vertical backup antenna on the roof of the school “San 
Giovanni Bosco”. They also set up a second backup 
satellite station at the comprehensive school “Pompeo 
Sarnelli” in case of misfunction of the primary station. 
They also installed the audio and video links from the 
shack at the “San Giovani Bosco” school to the assembly 
halls of the two other schools “Giovanni Rodari” and 
“Pompeo Sarnelli”. The installation of the antennas was 
covered by the local TV station “Canale 7”.

  
The audience in the school shack was about 70 listeners: 
pupils, teachers, high representatives of the Ministry of 
Education, of the civilian and military authorities: the 
President of the Region Puglia, the President of the 
Province of Bari, the Mayor of Bari, the President of the 
Community Council of Bari, the regional Commanders in 
chief of the Aviation, the Army, the Navy, the Military 
Police and the Customs, and the official Representative of 
the Italian Government in Bari.


At exactly 14:34 UTC, right on schedule, contact with 
NA1SS was established. Astronaut Leroy Chiao answered 18 
questions on any topics.

He explained for instance the muscle training program on 
board the ISS. A further answer was about food: they 
sometimes eat italian spaghetti.



The signal was all the time absolutely clear and loud. 
Then, after the 18th question the operator Michele 
Mallardi, IZ7EVR, let him listen to the applause of the 
audience.

  

The satellite TV station “Puglia Channel Satellite”, the 
national TV station “RAI 3”, the local TV stations 
“Telenorba”, “Antenna Sud”, “Canale 7”, “Telepuglia”, 
“Mediaset”, the radio stations “Radioamicizia”, 
“Radionorba”, “Radio Elle”, the newspapers “La Gazzetta 
del Mezzogiorno”, “Fax”, “Blu”, “L´informatore” and the 
amateur radio magazines “Radio Rivista” and “Radio Kit 
Elettronica” covered the event.

  

The satellite TV station “Puglia Channel” broadcasts the 
event this Friday at 17:30 UTC on Hotbird 13° East 
12519MHz (V).

  

Giving young people an idea of the impact and the 
fascinating aspects of amateur radio by demonstrating a 
direct contact to the Space Station was a goal perfectly 
achieved!

  

73, Peter Kofler, IN3GHZ, ARISS mentor
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