The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) is a federation of national associations of certified radio amateurs, representing over 150 countries and separate territories around the world.

The three IARU Regions are organised to broadly mirror the structure of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and its related regional telecommunications organisations. The Regions comprise:
- IARU Region 1: Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Northern Asia
- IARU Region 2: The Americas
- IARU Region 3: Asia-Pacific

The IARU represents the interests of the Amateur Radio Service worldwide to relevant international organisations, promoting the interests of amateur radio and seeking to protect and enhance its spectrum privileges.

Successful ARISS Contact for 1 Circolo Didattico G.Marconi, Casamassima, Italy

arisslogFriday November  9, 2012 at 12:53 UTC, which is 13:53 CEST, students from 1 Circolo Didattico G.Marconi, Casamassima, Italy established ARISS contact with JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide KE5DNI onboard the International Space Station. Astronaut Akihiko Hoshide KE5DNI operated with the ISS callsign OR4ISS.

This was a direct contact performed by amateur radio club station IZ7RTN installed at "Cittadella Mediterranea della Scienza", University of Bari, Italy.

The Didactic Center "Marconi" in Casamassima di Bari, South Italy includes one Primary School and two Nursery Schools. There are more than 800 students and a teaching staff of 70 teachers, directed by headmaster Mrs. Rita Rosaria Gagliardi. The Primary School has multimedia and scientific laboratories, while the students play an active role in a number of projects on Science, Music, Dance, Theatre, Physical Education and more.

Michele Mallardi IZ7EVR, radio contact coordinator for this event, decided in favor of the setup for a direct contact, with assistance from the ARISS telebridge station IK1SLD installed at Casale Monferrato Airport, Piemonte, Italy. The contact took place at "Cittadella Mediterranea della Scienza", University of Bari, where an audience of about 250 students, visitors and Media, including 12 Italian Air Force officers, participated to the ARISS contact.

Before the radio contact with ISS, Michele Mallardi IZ7EVR presented the ARISS program, the operations during an contact with the ISS via Ham Radio, and the life of the astronauts in space.

At 12:53 UTC, contact with OR4ISS was established by station IZ7RTN. Using the Kenwood radio in the Service Module, Akihiko Hoshide KE5DNI answered all 20 questions from the students, exchanged final greetings and closed the contact. During the pass, the signal from the ISS was loud and clear.

Live streaming video was available on: http://www.cittadellamediterraneascienza.it/webtv.html

The ARISS contact was announced by web story on ESA Portal - National News: http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEML9F62Q8H_Italy_0.html

Congratulations to the schools staff and the ARISS Puglia Team!