Human Space Flight

Human Space Flight (VUS) – R. Vittori Mission
In the frame of the Italian Space Agency (ASI) / Aeronautica Militare Italiana (ITAF) “Human Space Flight” program, which foresees the definition and the implementation of a joint program addressed to the definition, the design and the implementation of a Shuttle short duration mission (STS Mission), support to the Astronaut as well as on-orbit activities development have been put in place. In this context, ALTEC developed the following tasks: 

  • Support to the Italian Astronaut Colonel Roberto Vittori
  • Mission Definition
  • Mission Integration
  • Mission Support
  • Education
  • Utilization Support

The same activities were developed by ALTEC in the frame of the “Esperia” Mission STS-120 held on 2007 with the Italia Astronaut Paolo Nespoli.

The selected experiments brought and performed on-orbit during the STS-134 mission have been: 

  • Italian Astronaut Personal Eye (IAPE) developed by Company G&A Engineering s.r.l.
  • Biokon in Space (BIOKIS) developed by Company Kayser Italia S.r.l.
  • Italian Electronic Nose for Space Exploration (IENOS) developed by the Electronic Engineering Department of Tor Vergata University in Rome
  • Italian Memory Foam (IFOAM) developed by Tor Vergata University in Rome  and by Company Kayser Italia S.r.l
  • Night Vision developed by Molecular Design Department of CNR
  • eValuatIon And monitoring of microBial biofiLms insidE the ISS (VIABLE ISS) developed by the Tuscia University.

It has to be noted that the experiment “eValuatIon And monitoring of microBial biofiLms insidE the ISS (VIABLE ISS)” being a long term experiment, according to the agreements, is still on-board of the International Space Station.

In particular, the developed activities are hereafter listed:

  • Support to the Italian Astronaut Colonel Roberto Vittori
  • Coordination and support to ASI for the payloads familiarization and training programs
  • Production of the documentation needed for the astronaut utilization activities
  • Support to the applicable Program boards
  • Support to ASI for the coordination with the Shuttle and ISS NASA Program Office for the definition and the implementation of the activities to be performed during the flight

Support to Mission Definition

  • Support to the mission selection and definition activities and relevant experimental plan
  • Support to the utilization opportunities identification in the frame of the STS mission including the NASA hardware already on-board

Mission Integration

  • Payloads/experiments integration documentation preparation
  • Mission STS identified experiments integration
  • Technological missions support and relevant data gathering
  • Attendance and support to the missions simulation and training for the ground teams

Mission Support

  • Engineering and logistics support for the launch preparation of the Italian payloads and experiments
  • Support to the Real-time operations and on-ground anomalies resolution (if any) and during the mission
  • Post flight  operations support
  • Preparation of the mission data bases and experimental data gathering, predisposition of the Lessons Learned


  • Support to the organization of post-flight events/meeting with the Astronaut/Crew with the schools and university
  • Support for the realization of products (games/publications/multimedia) with the aim of the aerospace culture diffusion relevant to the ISS and the Astronauts
  • Support in the organization of competitions for schools and universities, educational proposal selection and logistic, engineering and practical support for educational payload development
  • in liaison with NASA Education Office and acting as point of contact for joint ASI-NASA educational activities

Utilization Support

  • Evaluation and updating of the ASI utilization rights
  • Utilization opportunities identification in the frame of the ISS mission including the NASA hardware already on-board
  • Support to the revision and discussion of the Payloads Tactical Plans
  • Support to the attendance to the boards
  • Logistic and integration of re-flight/repeat of existing payloads
  • Support to the integration of small payloads