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ESPERIA mission

Esperia mission logo

ESPERIA has been a scientific research mission conducted by Paolo Nespoli during its maiden flight to the International Space Station. Nespoli reached the ISS with the STS-120 space mission of the Space Shuttle Program  that lifted off from Cape Canaveral on the 23th October 2007 and returned to hearth on the 7th November 2007.  

With this mission the italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli returned to the International Space Station (ISS) , who in addition to participating in the assembly of the space station, has conducted scientific research that is part of the ESA Esperia mission. Among the many experiments that have been carried out are the projects Chromosome-2 and Neocytolysis sponsored by ESA and HPA, FRTL-5 and SPORE by the Italian Space Agency. While the last two are experiments in the field of biology, the other three are devoted to human physiology.

The experiments designed and supported by Kayser Italia were: 

HPA (Hand Posture Analizer) The HPA experiment aims to systematically study the behavior of the upper limbs under microgravity conditions. In particular, HPA intends to study the motor coordination an muscolar fatigue of the astronaut's hand and forearm. The HPA experiment was developed by Kayser Italia  within the contract with Italian Space Agency (ASI).
SPORE The SPORE experiment, designed by high school students and sponsored by the Italian Space Agency (ASI),  aims to study the reaction of bacterial spores samples exposed to the absence of gravity and high levels of ionizing radiation. The hardware was composed by three experiment containers transported in a standard KI BIOKON container. Each experiment container hosted 32 Eppendorf tubes of 0.5 ml each. The tubes hosted  a wild type of Bacillus subtilis, completely harmless to humans.


The HPA (Hand Posture Analyzer) and Paolo Nespoli on board the ISS during the ESPERIA mission (Photo ESA)