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  ESA: Paolo Nespoli's MagISStra ISS mission

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Author Topic:   ESA: Paolo Nespoli's MagISStra ISS mission
Robert Pearlman

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-01-2010 09:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
European Space Agency release
A chance to name Europe's next astronaut mission

ESA's Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli will soon visit the International Space Station, and he needs your help to name his mission.

Paolo Nespoli is now in intensive training for his challenging 6-month mission that will start next November. He will be launched in a Soyuz TMA spacecraft from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on 30 November with Dmitri Kondratyev and Catherine Coleman. After docking two days later, they will stay on the International Space Station (ISS) as members of Expeditions 26/27.

This will be Paolo's second time aboard the ISS: he flew in 2007 on a Space Shuttle to deliver and install the Node-2 module.

This will be the third six-month mission by a European astronaut on the Station. Between December 2010 and June 2011 he will be part of the ISS crew as a flight engineer.

In addition to his technical and operational duties, he has an extensive programme of scientific experiments and educational activities. He will use a novel 3D camera to show realistic views from inside and outside the ISS.

The ISS has many more years of use ahead - at least until 2020 - and the European astronaut missions contribute significantly to the scientific exploitation of Europe's Columbus laboratory. Paolo's mission is currently known as 'E3', Europe's third long-duration mission on the ISS.

From Esperia to... what?

Paolo's previous mission was called Esperia from the Ancient Greek name for the Italian peninsula. Following the enthusiastic response to earlier competitions, ESA is again inviting European citizens to suggest names for his new mission.

The competition is open to all citizens and residents of ESA's Member States. The winning name will become the official name of Nespoli's mission and the winner will receive a frame with the mission logo signed by European astronauts.

The name should reflect the following aspects:

  • Europe's important role in the global undertaking of human spaceflight and exploration, as demonstrated by the many missions and hardware delivered to the ISS;

  • The three 'dimensions' of astronaut missions that serve science, technology and education, as well as the 3D pictures and videos that Paolo will be taking during his mission;

  • Astronauts need to stay fit on the ground and in space. As Paolo's educational activities will focus on the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle, the mission name has to reflect this;

  • Paolo is Italian, so the mission name may also reflect Italian culture as an ingredient of the pan-European outlook.
How to submit?
  • Send your proposal to by 18:00 CEST (16:00 GMT) on 30 June 2010 with the subject line 'Paolo Nespoli Mission Name Competition'.

  • The name should be a word or a short combination of words. Do not use a personal name, unless it is a mythological name with a commonly known symbolic meaning.

  • Include your real full name, age, home address and phone number in your email.

  • Read the full conditions carefully.

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-08-2010 06:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
European Space Agency release
Counting down for ESA’s MagISStra mission to Space Station

In Latin magistra means 'female teacher', and now Europe's third long-duration astronaut mission to the International Space Station will carry almost the same name: MagISStra.

When ESA's Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli shares a ride to space with Russia's Dmitri Kondratyev and NASA's Catherine Coleman in December aboard a Soyuz TMA spacecraft, he will be looking forward to six months full of experiments and hard work.

During his MagISStra mission, Paolo will live and work on the International Space Station (ISS) with Kondratyev and Coleman as members of Expeditions 26 and 27.

During their stay, they will welcome the last planned Space Shuttle mission and unmanned cargo ferries from Europe and Japan, before returning to Earth in May 2011.

Why MagISStra?

ESA launched a Europe-wide competition last June to name Paolo's mission and finally chose the suggestion from Antonella Pezzani of Italy.

The Latin-flavoured name combines the word magistra, the female teacher, with the acronym of the International Space Station, continuing ESA's tradition of having ISS within the mission name.

MagISStra also echoes the humanistic value of the mission, because it reflects the special link with education. It is one of the three dimensions of the flight, together with science and technology.

The mission logo features a human being, who can be seen as the Paolo himself, projected from the ISS. The value of the mission to Earth is symbolised by three icons between the arms: the plant denoting scientific research, the gears for technology, and the book as knowledge.

The six stars represent the six crewmembers living on the Station during the mission and the six months that Paolo will stay in space, as well as the idea of Europe.

Science-driven mission

Paolo Nespoli and his crewmates today visited the control centre for Europe's Columbus laboratory module, in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany.

Scientific research will be one of his main activities during MagISStra. More than 30 experiments await him, covering human research, fluid physics, radiation, biology and technology demonstrations.

Paolo will also perform several experiments for the US, Japanese and Canadian space agencies.

As part of his educational programme, children can follow the international 'Mission X: Train Like an Astronaut' initiative built around health, well-being and nutrition, as well as a special greenhouse project in space.

Paolo will also film with ESA's novel 3D camera to show the Space Station in a new way.

New site:

For more information about MagISStra, visit

The site, opened today, offers the latest information, videos and photos from the mission and occasional posts from Paolo himself. It is your shortcut to the ISS for months to come!

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