Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Italian Astronaut Focuses On Complex Mission

Date:
March 16, 2007
Source:
European Space Agency
Summary:
Later this year ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli will serve as Mission Specialist on the STS-120 mission to the International Space Station. Together with the rest of the Shuttle crew, Nespoli is training intensively ahead of this complex ISS assembly mission.

Italian ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli during training at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
Credit: ESA/GC Coppel

Later this year ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli will serve as Mission Specialist on the STS-120 mission to the International Space Station. Together with the rest of the Shuttle crew, Nespoli is training intensively ahead of this complex ISS assembly mission.

Related Articles


For the 11-day mission, Nespoli joins six NASA astronauts on board Space Shuttle Atlantis. His flight opportunity arises from the Memorandum of Understanding between the Italian space agency, ASI, and NASA for the supply to NASA of three pressurised Multi-Purpose Logistic Modules (MPLM).

As well as exchanging a member of the Station's permanent crew, and the challenging operation of repositioning a set of solar arrays, the STS-120 crew is responsible for the safe delivery of the Node 2 connecting module - an important step in the continued construction of the International Space Station.

The arrival of the cylindrical Node 2 module, which will be attached to the end of US Destiny laboratory, paves the way for the addition of the European Columbus laboratory and the Japanese Kibo laboratory later in the year.

The crew started mission specific training for this complex assignment in August last year. "We train together for some tasks, such as the rendezvous with the Space Station and operating the robotic arms during the spacewalks. I am also doing a lot of training with the simulators to be able to do my tasks according to the required standards," explains Nespoli. "The training is becoming more and more demanding. I normally start at 7 in the morning and finish at 7 or 8 o'clock in the evening. It's fairly intense!"

Besides carrying out a joint ESA/ASI programme of scientific experiments, PR and educational activities, in his role as Mission Specialist, Nespoli will help with maintaining and handling the on board systems of the spacecraft.

During the inspection of the Shuttle's heat resistant tiles following the launch, he will be at the controls of the robotic arm. He will also be part of the team to perform the approach and docking with the Space Station.

Nespoli will coordinate activities from inside the Shuttle during three spacewalks – he will direct the spacewalkers, coordinating both with the ground and with the Shuttle and Station robotic arm operators. As the mission draws to a close, Nespoli will take part in Shuttle undocking activities, and for the re-entry he will be sat in the Flight Deck as Mission Specialist 1.

Nespoli's mission, which will be jointly managed by ESA and ASI, will be his first visit to space. A member of the European Astronaut Corps since 1998, he naturally looks forward to finally fulfilling a dream. "I will reach a goal I have been working on for many many years, so I am looking forward to experiencing this personally," says Nespoli.

"I am also looking to contribute to the crew and to the mission. To essentially complete the tasks that have been assigned to us. I feel the responsibility of bringing Node 2 into orbit. This is a complex task and I will try to concentrate to be at my best."

STS-120 is scheduled for launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Florida, in the autumn.

Node 2 was developed for NASA under an ESA contract with European industry, with Alcatel-Alenia Space as the prime contractor. Responsibility for Node 2 development was assigned to the Italian space agency, ASI.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Space Agency. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

European Space Agency. "Italian Astronaut Focuses On Complex Mission." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 March 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070315101136.htm>.
European Space Agency. (2007, March 16). Italian Astronaut Focuses On Complex Mission. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070315101136.htm
European Space Agency. "Italian Astronaut Focuses On Complex Mission." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070315101136.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: China Launches Moon Orbiter

Raw: China Launches Moon Orbiter

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) China launched an experimental spacecraft Friday to fly around the moon and back to Earth in preparation for the country's first unmanned return trip to the lunar surface. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China Prepares Unmanned Mission To Lunar Orbit

China Prepares Unmanned Mission To Lunar Orbit

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) The mission is China's next step toward automated sample-return missions and eventual manned missions to the moon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Russian Cosmonauts Kick Off Final Spacewalk of 2014

Russian Cosmonauts Kick Off Final Spacewalk of 2014

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 22, 2014) Russian cosmonauts Maxim Suraev and Alexander Samokutyaev step outside the International Space Station to perform work on the exterior of the station's Russian module. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Comet Siding Spring Grazes Mars' Atmosphere

Comet Siding Spring Grazes Mars' Atmosphere

Newsy (Oct. 19, 2014) A comet from the farthest reaches of the solar system passed extremely close to Mars this weekend, giving astronomers a rare opportunity to study it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins