Samantha Cristoforetti and the experiments of the Minerva mission were at the center of the event dedicated to the press and organized by the ASI and the ESA in hybrid mode, at the headquarters of the Agency.
The call was attended remotely by the Minister for Technological Innovation and Digital Transition with delegation for Space, Vittorio Colao, the ASI president, Giorgio Saccoccia and the director of Human and Robotic Exploration at the ESA, David Parker, whereas the Minister for Education, Patrizio Bianchi, sent a greeting message.
The first part of the event was dedicated to a presentation on the experiments selected by the ASI, given by the main principal investigators. The attendees were welcomed by the ASI director of Science and Research, Mario Cosmo, with the subsequent interventions by the head of the Human Flights and Scientific Experimentation unit at the ASI, Barbara Negri, and the principal investigators of the experiments. The moderation was entrusted to the head of the Scientific Coordination Unit, Gabriele Mascetti.
Samantha, who has been on the ISS since last April 28th for her second long-term mission, talked about her life on the ISS in these first weeks and the several scientific experiments in which she will take part during her stay on the space outpost: dozens of researches, covering several sectors of medicine and nutrition, including six experiments conducted by the Italian Space Agency.
During the event, Samantha announced the winning name of “Spazio alle idee”, the competition launched by the Department of Digital Transformation with the Ministry of Education and the Italian Space Agency to name the future satellite constellation for Earth observation in low orbit.
«Space talks to the heart of the younger generation, congratulations to the winners! – said Samantha – In a few years, we will have in orbit Iride, the largest constellation dedicated to Earth observation».
«Italy contributed significantly to building the ISS, many of the living environments were built in our country – said the ASI president, Giorgio Saccoccia – and we believed greatly in the Minerva mission. Samantha is a source of inspiration for kids and the younger generation».
«We celebrate Samantha Cristoforetti and the excellent work done by the Minerva mission’s team – said the Minister Colao -. Samantha and the other astronauts aboard the ISS will conduct several European and international experiments, it’s a great success. Space is an opportunity for science and peace».
«I’m very grateful to all the students who took part in the 'Spazio alle Idee' competition. A participation that shows us the enthusiasm and passion of the new generations towards the space sector – said the Minister Bianchi -. We want to continue to stimulate innovation, support research and, above all, create valuable job opportunities in this area, where Italy boasts a competitive industrial fabric and excellent research centers».