Friday, December 17, 2010

ESA Soyuz MagISStra: Paolo Nespoli arrives at the International Space Station

ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli trying on his Russian Sokol suits at Star City, 15 November 2010.

He will travel to the International Space Station (ISS) on a long-duration mission in December, serving as flight engineer for Expeditions 26 and 27.

This will be the third six-month mission by a European astronaut on the Station.

From December 2010 to May 2011, Paolo Nespoli, ESA's Italian astronaut, will carry out an intensive programme of experiments, ranging from radiation monitoring to measurements that could improve oil recovery in petroleum reservoirs.

His duties aboard the ISS include participating in the docking operations to receive two cargo spacecraft: Europe’s second Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) Johannes Kepler, and the second Japanese HII Transfer Vehicle (HTV).

Both are unmanned spacecraft used to resupply the ISS. Nespoli will be the prime operator for berthing the HTV to the Station after the free-flying vehicle has been captured by his crewmate Catherine Coleman.

Credits: ESA - S. Corvaja, 2010

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