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)

Ice and Space: research at Concordia Station

Pubblicato su Science on the Net

Concordia Station, which opened in 2005, is an Italian-French research facility in Antarctica. The tenth winter-over mission involves a team of 13 people. We had the pleasure to speak with Adrianos Golemis (Greece), the ESA-sponsored medical doctor.

– Dr. Golemis, can you describe your activity and tasks as the ESA-sponsored medical doctor at Concordia Station?

Good morning, first of all let me say that i am very happy to be here and would like to thank the European Space Agency for that. Concordia Station, which lies in Dome Circe, in the heart of the Antarctic, has 2 Medical Doctors: one is responsible for clinical assistance and treatment of the crew; the other position, which i currently hold, is about medical research. Every year European Universities propose medical experiments for Concordia and ESA selects the 10 best ones to be implemented.

My activities include executing, overseeing and amending (when needed) these medical experiments. For that i am in frequent contact with the principal investigators back home. But all people at Concordia Station are not only concerned with their primary jobs: There are housekeeping tasks to be done, like cleaning the floor, washing dishes or similar, which we all share. In some ways it is like a commune and that is quite a shaping experience. We also have secondary roles, for example the ESA doctor is responsible for emergencies outside the base, while other members of the crew have trained as firefighters.

(Continua su Science on the Net)

Traditional and space medicine combined at :envihab

Pubblicato su Science on the Net

The new research center :envihab at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Cologne represents a bridge between the traditional medicine on Earth and the space medicine. The structure, with an area of 3500 square meters and a cost of 30 million Euro, will be used to study the effects of extreme environmental conditions on the human body and to determine the possible countermeasures. For example, the researchers will study the effects of aging, bed rest, immobilization and isolation on Earth.

The :envihab can also be considered as the earthly twin-laboratory of the International Space Station. The name is obtained from the words environment and habitats and describes a closed life support system, just like the ISS. Eight separate modules and a short-arm human centrifuge allow to conduct research on the cardiovascular system, bones and muscles in order to understand the effects of the reduction of oxygen and pressure on test subjects. Other facilities also include an apparatus for magnetic resonance imaging and a pressure chamber that can be used to simulate altitudes up to 5500 meters. There are also facilities for MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) or PET (Positron Emission Tomography) analysis, rooms for the simulations of psychological stress and rehabilitation, tools for microbiological, molecular and biological research, as well as places to host and monitor the test subjects.

(Continua su Science on the Net)