The STS-120 Shuttle Mission was named “Mission ESPERIA” by ASI-ESA. The name was chosen to underline its Italian origins. (Esperia was Italy’s ancient name) The mission saw the participation of Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli, who acted in the role of Mission Specialist, the mission was a fundamental phase in assembling the ISS, given that Node-2 was put into orbit.
To take full advantage of Paolo Nespoli’s presence aboard the ISS a number of experiments were carried out on behalf of ASI. Mission organization was assigned to an industrial consortium in which ALTEC was responsible for the overall coordination of the project.
The industrial consortium was made up of the following:
- MARS Center
- Kaiser Italia
The scientific consortium was made from the following:
- The department of experimental pathology and medicine, University of Udine (“FRTL-5” experiment)
- The state institute of Higher Instruction Vittorio Emanuele II-Ruffini (“SPORE” experiment)
- Biomedical Space Center University of Tor Vergada of Rome (“HPA” experiment)
A website dedicated to the Esperia Mission is available for further information: http://esperia.marscenter.it