Parmitano in space: “look further” with the Beyond mission

At the end of October Luca Parmitano will take over the International Space Station

crew beyond parmitano

The three astronauts protagonists of the Beyond mission. On the right, Luca Parmitano.
Credit: NASA

“Looking at the horizon, chasing that, wondering what’s hiding and beyond, try to touch it with your hand. The Earth is a moving blue beauty. Now every time I look at the starry sky, or the sea, I think back to how they were on the other side “.

“We want to understand how to manage problems and improve human life in space for long periods, for future lunar bases and trips to Mars.”

Luca Parmitano, from Catania, born in 1976 with stories to tell, already has it, but he will still have it on his return from the International Space Station (ISS), which sees him as a guest along with Andrew Morgan (NASA) and the Russian commander Alexander Skvortsov of Roscosmos since last July.

Luca Parmitano, ESA’s Italian astronaut is in fact involved in the Beyond mission. It started from the Bajkonur base, in Kazakhstan on 20 July at 6.28 pm Italian time. The second great space mission of the Catania astronaut has therefore begun.

Together with the crew of the Soyuz MS-13, “AstroLuca” will be engaged in over 50 European and 200 international scientific experiments. These include some experiments on the influence of microgravity on the human body. Besides they will study technological aspects regarding possible remote controls of Moon explorations.

The International Space Station

It is a space station that is in orbit around the Earth. NASA, ESA (European Space Agency), Russian RKA, JAXA and the Canadian CSA-ASC manage it. Inside, the main activity is that of scientific research. It is in fact a platform dedicated to experiments on man, biology, physics, meteorology, physics, astronomy.

Experiments on board the ISS

parmitano experiments on ISS
Parmitano during one of the researches for the possible causes of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Credit: NASA

Some of the experiments of the mission, will concern the reaction of bacteria used for bio-extraction on our planet. Other experiments concern how some micro-organisms behave on rocks in space.

“What we are learning in low Earth orbit will allow the next generation to go further and continue to explore. So that we can be able to return to the Moon and to Mars, we must know how to survive and work in these worlds. That’s where the Space Station comes into play, “said Luca Parmitano.

The first weeks of the mission

There are six Italian experiments on which Luca Parmitano will work during the 203 days spent on the ISS. Among these, in the first weeks he started working at Mini-EUSO. The objectives of the experiment are to realize the first UV night map of the Earth. It will also study meteorites, space debris and marine bioluminescence.

Amloyd Aggregation is one of the other experiment. Luca will study the aggregation of some organisms to verify and monitor the risks for astronauts on board the ISS. Furthermore the project aims to study the accumulation of proteins, which is the basis of some neurodegenerative diseases.

A mission to expand knowledge and create awareness

amazon rainforest parmitano
“The smoke, visible for thousands of kilometers, of dozens and dozens of arsons in the Amazon rainforest.”
From Parmitano’s Twitter account.

The crew will therefore study above all aspects related to the reactions of the human body in particular microgravity conditions. It will therefore monitor aspects related to neuroscience and biology.

The mission therefore aims to allow the advancement of our medical, physical, chemical and neuroscientific knowledge. Not only.

The future commander of the ISS has published and shared numerous photographs of what is the situation of our Earth.

His goal is to move consciences so that we can mobilize against the enemy of our planet: global warming. In fact, from the shots you can see the melting of the glaciers and the advancement of the deserts. “I hope our words and observations can be used to alarm people and create awareness of what is the number one enemy: global warming.” Said Parmitano.

Luca Parmitano will be commander of the ISS starting from the end of October. The launch of the Soyuz after exactly 50 years from the landing of the man on the Moon, was also inspiring for the emblem of the mission. Parmitano claims to have included references to our natural satellite and to Mars. The name of the mission, therefore, is a message to humanity, a fundamental aspect of the entire expedition.

“Working on the orbital outpost is the only way to understand what scientific knowledge and technologies we need to be able to go further,” said Luca Parmitano. And hopefully thanks to Beyond, we will really be able to “go further”, expand and expand the knowledge of the world in which we live.


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