ASI - Agenzia Spaziale Italiana - News ASI - Agenzia Spaziale Italiana - News
EXPEDITION 52/53

We have VITA

Vitality, Innovation, Technology and Ability. These are the English words making up the acronym VITA, which means LIFE in Italian and characterizes the mission of ESA astronaut, Paolo Nespoli, the third long-term mission under NASA and ASI International Space Station agreements

It is called VITAVitality, Innovation, Technology, Ability and the logo was inspired by the “Third Paradise” by the artist Michelangelo Pistoletto. We are talking about the Expedition 52/53 mission, destination the International Space Station. It is the third of six long-term missions that NASA has made available to the Italian Space Agency under the agreement for the delivery of the logistics modules, Leonardo, Donatello and Raffaello

Paolo Nespoli, an ESA astronaut, is the protagonist of this mission. This is his third mission to the ISS and his second long-term mission. Paolo Nespoli, born in 1957, will be leaving on his first spaceflight from the Russian base of Baikonur in Kazakhstan on board the Soyuz. The launch is currently planned to take place at the end of May 2017. 

There are 13 experiments, selected by ASI, included in the VITA mission. Most of these experiments are biomedical and the rest are technological. 

Going back to the Italian logo, the word “vita”, meaning life, evokes profound and important meanings, both from a scientific and a philosophical point of view. It is one of those Italian words that are also widely known abroad.

The design of the patch, developed by the ESA upon the request of the Italian Space Agency and created together with the astronaut himself, Paolo Nespoli, and with ASI, represents the mission's main messages. The shape reminds us of planet Earth because of its round geometry and its blue pattern. It contains the symbol of the “Third Paradise” by Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto. This symbol brings together, both visually and conceptually, the main themes of the mission: DNA, a symbol of life (a theme also conveyed by the name of the mission itself) and, broadly speaking, of the scientific dimension; the book, a symbol of culture and education, intended as continuous learning and training; the Earth, a symbol of all of humanity.  

The “Third Paradise” is a reformulation of the mathematical symbol for infinity and can be seen as a symbol open to multiple interpretations. The two opposing ovals signify the scientific and educational activities developed in space, while the central circle is the meeting point between the two and represents the evolution of Earth and the benefits of space activities for humanity.  

The central ellipse, combined with the globe, can be seen as an eye, giving the astronaut's perspective while observing our planet from the International Space Station. The three stars represent the three long-term missions resulting from the agreement between NASA and ASI for the provision of the MPLM modules.  

The logo it is enhanced by the colours of the Italian flag, representing the nationality of the ESA astronaut, Paolo Nespoli, and of the Italian Space Agency. The hashtag is #vitamissione