ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano’s second International Space Station mission name is ‘Beyond’, in this video he explains the name and logo. Luca returns to space in 2019 as part of Expedition 60/61, alongside Andrew Morgan of NASA and Alexander Skvortsov of Roscosmos.
In selecting Beyond, Luca was inspired by his fellow ESA astronauts. From the nearness to Earth of Thomas Pesquet’s Proxima mission to the broadening scope of Alexander Gerst’s current Horizons mission, Luca saw a path that will push humanity even farther, for the benefit of all.
“What we do in orbit is not for the astronauts or for the International Space Station programme, it is for everybody,” Luca explains. “It is for Earth, it is for humanity, and it is the only path for us to learn what we need in terms of science and technology in order to go beyond.”
The mission logo illustrates this trajectory. An astronaut looks out into space. The Earth and the orbiting Space Station are reflected in the helmet’s visor. In the distance is the Moon poised for humanity’s return, with the Orion spacecraft and exploratory rovers. Beyond is the Red Planet, currently being studied by satellites like ExoMars and Mars Express and one day by humans.
The research Luca will be conducting on the Space Station will contribute to keeping humans safe on longer exploratory missions. Also on the agenda for Luca are demonstrations that will develop the technological and operational knowledge that will allow humans, together with robots, to explore lunar and martian surfaces from orbit and on the surface.