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The VITA Mission support

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 DAMA mission with ESA astronaut and Italian Air Forces (ITAF) Colonel Roberto Vittori, the VOLARE mission with ESA astronaut and ITAF Major Luca Parmitano, the FUTURA mission with ESA astronaut and ITAF Captain Samantha Cristoforetti, the next VITA mission with the ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli is another major milestone. Paolo Nespoli is a spaceflight veteran; this is his third flight to the ISS and the second long term duration mission. He is member of the Expedition 52 and 53 with the role of Flight Engineer. Under the coordination of the Italian Space Agency and with the industrial support services  provided by Kayser Italia, a pool of scientists, academic researchers and industry leaders in innovative technological fields are working into the design and implementation of payloads, experiments and scientific protocols in the fields of human physiology, cell biology, countermeasures, physical sciences and technological demonstrations. Following a call for research opportunities, as well as promoting public/private partnership, for this 2017 mission, ASI has selected a total of 11 investigations, involving more than 15 different institutions and about 30 investigators.

The four life science investigations have several operational commonalities and they are managed together with the name “ASI BIOMISSION”. The other experiments are related to technological developments, demonstration and educational payloads.

 

Kayser Italia has a deep involvement in the VITA mission: all the hardware required for the biological investigations uses Kayser Italia “Experiments Containers” and “Experiment Units”. Even the educational experiment “Multi Trop” uses the same hardware, but it is also contained in the standard Kayser Italia “BIOKON” space container. A team of specialists supports the experiments till the sample preparation at the NASA Kennedy Space Center (Florida, USA) and their delivery for the launch with the SpaceX-12 “Dragon” capsule.

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

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