During the Alissé mission, ESA astronaut Christer Fuglesang (SE) flew on the Space Shuttle Discovery STS-128 mission to the ISS in August 2009, spending nearly 14 days in space. He was accompanied by NASA astronauts Frederick Sturckow, Kevin Ford, Patrick Forrester, José Hernández, John Olivas and Nicole Stott.
Selected from around 190 suggestions, the winning name for Fuglesang’s mission was proposed by Jürgen Modlich from Baierbrunn, Germany. The name refers one of the most famous trade winds, the alizé (or alize), used by 15th century explorers who used the winds to follow Christopher Columbus across the Atlantic Ocean to the New World. Alize is a steady north-easterly wind that blows across central Africa to the shores of America. By changing the letters ‘iz’ to ‘iss’, the target of today’s explorers is encompassed in the mission name: Alissé.
The patch for the Alissé mission features a bird's wing enclosing images of the ISS and Shuttle, either side of two sets of horizontal lines. The horizontal lines symbolise different aspects of the mission: two lines represent the two spacewalks to be undertaken by Fuglesang during the mission. Another two symbolise the Shuttle and ISS in their separate orbits as they close for docking. They also represent the two ESA astronauts on the ISS during the mission. The four lines
together represent the four space agencies of the astronauts on the ISS during the mission. The letters ‘ISS’ are highlighted in the mission name after mission’s target.