Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Name and designer logo revealed for Paolo Nespoli’s Shuttle mission to the ISS

ESA and the Italian Space Agency (ASI) today announced that they have chosen the name for the upcoming mission of astronaut Paolo Nespoli, a member of the STS-120 crew assigned to a Shuttle launch next October.

The mission has been dubbed Esperia from the Ancient Greek name for the Italian peninsula.

The choice of name reflects how Nespoli's Shuttle mission to the International Space Station (ISS) will be a showcase for European technology, with the delivery of Italian-built Node 2. It also reflects the fact that this flight opportunity stems from the visionary involvement of ASI in providing three pressurised cargo containers (Multi-Purpose Logistics Modules, or MPLMs) to NASA under a bilateral agreement, with their development entrusted to Italian industry.

As a result of that agreement, ASI obtained six flight opportunities. The close cooperation between ESA and ASI led to the assignment of Nespoli, a member of the European Astronaut Corps, to this ASI flight opportunity. The first of these flight opportunities was taken up by Umberto Guidoni, who spent 10 days on board the ISS in April 2000.

An agreement between ESA and ASI for the joint management of this important mission was signed on 19 June 2007 at the Paris Air Show, Le Bourget, between ASI’s President, Professor Giovanni F. Bignami, and ESA’s Director of Human Spaceflight, Microgravity and Exploration, Daniel Sacotte.

In line with that arrangement, ASI entrusted the creation of a mission logo to world-famous designer Giorgetto Giugiaro and his ItalDesign SpA company under a sponsorship deal. The imaginative logo depicts how the Esperia mission is key to completing ISS assembly and also how it marks a step forward along the path of further exploration of space, an endeavour in which Italy and ASI are key players in Europe and in the international arena.

“Italy is one the main European players in space activities,” commented Simonetta di Pippo, Director for ASI’s space science and exploration (Osservazione dell’Universo) programme. “As the name suggests, the Esperia mission is an example of Italy’s long-term commitment to space exploration and of our vision and ambition for the future. It is also one more example of Italian industrial capabilities on which we rely to confirm our investments in European space programmes, in particular the Aurora exploration programme.”

The Esperia mission will be Nespoli’s first flight assignment. During the complex assembly mission, as a member of the STS-120 crew of seven, he will have a major role in installing Node 2 (built by Thales Alenia Space), coordinating activities from inside the Shuttle during four spacewalks. His other responsibilities will include conducting a joint ESA/ASI programme of human physiology and biology experiments, and assisting with the maintenance and operation of the orbiter’s onboard systems.

“The first European-built node to be launched, Node 2, is of crucial importance for the future of the ISS,” said Daniel Sacotte. “It will serve as a connecting passageway for ESA’s Columbus laboratory, the US Destiny laboratory and the Japanese Kibo laboratory, as well as the attachment point for the Japanese HII Transfer Vehicle. It will also carry a docking adapter for the Space Shuttle and serve as an attachment point for the MPLMs. Scientists and engineers around the world are eagerly awaiting the module’s safe delivery.”

A further aspect of the Esperia mission is the involvement of the Italian Ministry of Social Solidarity. In order to highlight the rights of all European citizens to equal opportunities, Nespoli will represent all European and Italian citizens during his flight and will carry into orbit a number of testimonials from that Ministry.

ESA Media Relations Office | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Move over, lasers: Scientists can now create holograms from neutrons, too
21.10.2016 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

nachricht Finding the lightest superdeformed triaxial atomic nucleus
20.10.2016 | The Henryk Niewodniczanski Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>