Author Archives: raffaella

Symmetry

Closing the hatch of the Soyuz is like closing the the cover of a just-finished book. The sense of abandonment is surprising, until I realise that a last page is nothing more than an invitation to open the first page … Continue reading

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Wind, sand and stars – (with apologies once again to De Saint-Exupery)

That is my planet. I gaze lovingly at the surface with its boundless and beautiful colours. How many times have I explored its borders as the dawn immortalises its curves, glowing in an indescribable light-blue that is perfectly outlined by … Continue reading

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Guide to the International Space Station for the occasional visitor – part 2

Pressurised Mating Adaptor (PMA1) From the FGB, moving toward the bow, we pass through a corridor that looks rather strange. The corridor is an asymmetrical truncated cone. Starting from the round hatch, it transforms into a square that is Node-1. … Continue reading

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Mission-X: jump for the Moon

Luca will be leaving the Station on 10 November and will pass over Mission-X duties to  NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins.  Next year’s Mission-X: Train Like an Astronaut challenge is set to take off with the largest community of future space … Continue reading

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Guide to the International Space Station for the occasional visitor

Last week I spoke to students from three universities in Italy, Germany and Israel. I liked their questions a lot because they allowed me to be playful in my answers, I tried to get them to leave with more questions … Continue reading

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A day on the International Space Station

A day on the International Space Station The first of two alarms sounds at 5:50 GMT, like every morning, Mondays to Fridays. It shakes me from dreams that I never remember. Still sleepy I stretch my arms, which were folded … Continue reading

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Every picture tells a story

Some may remember the ending of a famous song from many years ago that repeated insistently that every picture tells a story. I am always impressed and excited looking at photos of nature, science and aviation and the distinct story … Continue reading

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Concordia

The International Space Station’s orbit allows us to see most of Earth’s surface, but an unavoidable line inhibits our view beyond the horizon. Among the areas that we will never see from our privileged point of view are the Earth’s … Continue reading

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Scenes from life in space: part 3

Delays The delay of the Cygnus cargo shuttle reminds us that space companies are on the forefront of technological exploration and you cannot afford to take even the smallest detail for granted. Cygnus is also proof that the experience gained … Continue reading

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Departures and arrivals

The noun ‘station’, contrary to the verb, brings to mind images of movement: the coming and going of travellers, vehicles, goods. On the International Space Station in recent weeks we have had a demonstration of the possibilities offered by our … Continue reading

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