Avamposto42, is the official website of European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, who is currently training for the second long duration mission of the Italian Space Agency (ASI) on board the International Space Station. Samantha will be a Flight Engineer for Expedition 42 and 43 between November 2014 and May 2015.


My posts on Avamposto42 (in Italian):

Fonti di calcio vegetali

Snack sani con oli vegetali e semi oleosi

Olio extravergine d’oliva

Addio e grazie di tutto… lo sgombro!

Oli vegetali in cucina

Dalle sardèe in saòr al bonus food

Vegetali ricchi di proteine

I legumi in cucina

Proteine animali in cucina (quelle sane)

Le fibre alimentari

Come la preparazione del cibo influenza l’indice glicemico

Uno snack salutare e alternativo

Colazione a basso indice glicemico

I cereali integrali

International Space Station (prima degli Shenanigans)

In cucina… a tutto vapore!

Il programma Shuttle

Prodotti di stagione




Il segreto è nella salsa… e nel punto di fumo!

Cibo spaziale: la termostabilizzazione


Nella vita ci vuole un po’ di pepe e… curry!

Lamponi spaziali


Scelta del cibo spaziale: l’inizio


Lo chef e l’astronauta

Uno chef… spaziale: Stefano Polato

2001: Odissea nello spazio… e in cucina

PLATO: looking for habitable planets

Pubblicato su Science on the Net

PLATO 2.0 (PLAnetary Transits and Oscillations of stars) has recently been selected for European Space Agency’s (ESA) M3 launch opportunity (2022/24). It is a medium class mission within the framework of the ESA Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 program. PLATO 2.0 will discover many potentially habitable planets. Presently, more than 1700 exoplanets with secure identifications are known and many others are unconfirmed planet candidates. PLATO 2.0 consists of 32 telescopes operating in white light and two additional fast cameras with colour filters. This multi-telescope design will allow a large photometric dynamic range. The mission lifetime will be 6 years, with a possible extension of 2 years. In total, about 50% of the sky will be covered.

The involvement of our country, especially in the fields of electronic systems and optics, is very relevant. The Italian contribution is funded by the Italian Space Agency (ASI), which also provides a segment of the PLATO Data Center, managed by the ASI Science Data Center (ASDC). Italian researchers contribute to the PLATO Mission Consortium, providing the scientific coordination of two important elements of the Payload – the Telescope Optical Units (TOUs) and the Instrument Control Unit (ICU) – and participating to the Science Preparation Management (PSPM), i.e., the activities required for the preparation of the scientific programme and the assessment of the mission performance. Almost a hundred of Italian scientists, mainly working at the National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF), are involved in the project.

We had the great pleasure to speak with Isabella Pagano (INAF Catania), member of the Mission Consortium Board (PMCB) and scientific responsible for the INAF participation in PLATO 2.0.

(Continua su Science on the Net)

Space research in Horizon 2020: which advantages for Italy?

Pubblicato su Science on the Net

Horizon 2020 identified space research as one of Europe’s key industrial technologies. The Commission highlighted its potential for EU innovation and competitiveness, but what are the consequences and advantages for our country? We had the pleasure to speak with Augusto Cramarossa, Head of National and International relations Unit of the Italian Space Agency (ASI).

How does ASI view the recent Draft Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2014-2015 in the area of Space? Is there any aspect that, in your opinion, could be improved?

The meeting held in Rome on November 27 was an informative and not a decisional one. The calls for 2014-2015 were published last December 11. Whilst everything has been already set for 2014, reviews of the calls for 2015 will be still possible until July 2014. Italy and France decided to abstain in regards to the 2014 Programme. In fact, we reserve our judgment on the included activities. We positively worked with the Commission and the other delegations, but, in our opinion, there was still place for improvements. In particular, we criticized the fact that the calls were defined without a clear idea of the general objectives.

In addition, we consider the overall fund distribution for Horizon 2020 (1,7 billion euros) inadequate, since it does not reflect the priority that, in our opinion, projects such as Galileo and Copernicus should be given to. We believe that research and development-funds allocated for these projects are too low. Another problem, then, regards call issue. The Commission proposes to follow a scheme 2+2+2+1 (years). Considering the maturity of the various activities, Italy on the other hand has proposed to invert the scheme, i.e. 1+2+2+2, in order to improve contents and general objectives. This is another reason that led us to abstention.

(Continua su Science on the Net)