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FUTURA Mission

Within the frame of a Memorandum of Understanding with NASA for the scientific utilization of the International Space Station (ISS), since 2001 the Italian Space Agency (ASI) has some exploitation rights. Thanks to this agreement, ASI carried out a number of experiments on board the ISS, mostly in the field of the Life Sciences and the technological development. In the same memorandum, ASI got the right for six flight opportunities for Italian Astronauts, consisting in three STS missions and three long duration ISS missions.

After the VOLARE mission of Luca Parmitano, it has been the turn of FUTURA, the mission of the ESA astronaut and ISAF Captain Samantha Cristoforetti. Samantha has been the first italian woman in space and the second italian astronuat to take part of a long duration mission (6 months) on board the International Space Station. Samantha Cristoforetti reached the ISS on-board the Soyuz TMA-15 russian capsule that was launched on November, 23rd 2014 and returned to earth on June, 15th 2015. Samantha collected a total of 199 days in space as part of the ISS Expeditions 41/42.

The scientific program of the FUTURA mission included experiments in different research areas:

  • Bone Muscle Check - Human phisiology
  • Blind and Imagined (including "MOVE SB" and "SHRINK" protocols) - Human phisiology
  • Wearable Monitoring - Sleep quality investigation
  • Drain Brain - Cerebral venous return in microgravity 
  • Nanoparticles and Osteoporosis e Cell Space and Expression - Biology
  • POP-3D - Technology development
  • ISSpresso - Technology development

Kayser Italia had a deep involvement in the FUTURA mission. The hardware required for the biological investigations "Nanoparticles and Osteoporosis e Cell Space and Expression", shortly "NATO and "CYTO", used Kayser Italia “Experiments Containers” and “Experiment Units”. The units and the sample cells have been prepared with the support of a team of specialists at the NASA Kennedy Space Center (Florida, USA) and delivered for the launch with the “Dragon” capsule launched with the SpaceX-6 "Falcon 9" rocket.

Within the ASI contract for the industrial support to the ISS  utilization (UTISS), Kayser Italia supported all the in-flight operations. Kayser Italia with its ICARO facilities was the unique italian Payload Control Centre for the FUTURA mission operations on board the International Space Station.