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Name And Designer Logo Revealed For Paolo Nespoli Shuttle Mission To The ISS

Esperia Mission logo. Credits: Italdesign S.p.A./ASI
by Staff Writers
Paris, France (ESA) Jul 27, 2007
ESA and the Italian Space Agency (ASI) 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.

Related Links
Italian Space Agency (ASI)
Paolo Angelo Nespoli
Station at NASA
Station and More at Roscosmos
S.P. Korolev RSC Energia
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Space Station News at Space-Travel.Com



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2006-2007 International Space Station Science: Looking Back and Ahead...
Huntsville AL (MSFC) Jul 26, 2007
It was an exciting year in 2006 and 2007 for science on the International Space Station. New research facilities were installed and new investigations had begun, while the results of a wide variety of investigations began to be published in scientific literature. Here are just a few highlights of the past year, and some great investigations to watch for in the remainder of 2007.







  • Rocket Explosion Kills Two At Mojave In California
  • Astrium Wins Study For New Vega Upper Stage
  • ATK Wins Another Orion Launch Abort Subsystem Contract
  • Old Space Prepares To Buy New Space As Northrop Scoops Up Scaled Composites

  • India Plans To Double Satellite Launches Within Five Years
  • Spaceway 3 Is Delivered To The Spaceport For Its Mid-August Ariane 5 Launch
  • Russian Space Firm Signs 14 Deals For Commercial Rocket Launches
  • Sea Launch To Resume Zenit Launches In October

  • Shuttle Computer System Sabotaged, Mission Launch Not Impacted
  • Spacehab Ready For Last Mission
  • Security Scare And Drunkeness Report Hit Space Shuttle Program
  • External Tank ET-120 Headed to Kennedy Space Center

  • Name And Designer Logo Revealed For Paolo Nespoli Shuttle Mission To The ISS
  • 2006-2007 International Space Station Science: Looking Back and Ahead...
  • ISS Orbit Adjusted To Host Shuttle Endeavor
  • Station Crew Completes Successful Spacewalk

  • Raytheon Launches Virtual Summer Camp For Kids
  • NASA Jolted By Boozing Astronauts And Sabotage
  • Udall Urges Conrad To Question Nussle On NASA Funding
  • NASA Announces Next Undersea Exploration Mission Dates And Crew

  • Chinese Astronauts Begin Training For Spacewalk
  • China Prepares To Select New Taikonauts
  • Dongfanghong 4 Ready For More International Satellite Orders
  • China To Launch Third Sino-Brazilian Satellite In September

  • Robotic Ankle For Amputees Is Developed
  • iRobot Receives New Military Orders 14 PackBot Robots
  • New Japanese Humanoid Invites Grown-Ups To Play
  • Robots Incorporated

  • Europe Asks Thales Alenia Space For The Price Of A Mars Robotic Rover
  • Search For Life In Martian Ice Relies On UK Technology
  • Creating Martian Clay
  • Digging Deep For Martian Life

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