And the winner is...
More than 500 proposals were received, when ESA called European citizens to use their little grey cells to invent a name for the third European long-duration mission to the International Space Station.
Following her intuition, an Italian, Antonella Pezzani, became the winner of the competition. Incidently she was also born in Cremona, a city in Northern Italy not so far from the one where Paolo Nespoli himself grew up.
“I wanted to underline the evolution from Latin to Neolatin languages as a ‘trait de union’ of the European identity by using a word - magistra - which embeds the idea of learning through the teacher”, explains the winner.
In her opinion, the magister figure is very important in the first age of everybody’s lives.
This is the fourth time the International Space Station is integrated in the name of a mission. Before the MagISStra, there were OdISSea, OasISS, AlISSé, so she decided to give some continuity to this new ‘tradition’.
A winning family
Married and with two children, Antonella is part of a family of space fans.
“I would like to express to Paolo Nespoli my admiration for his perseverance, strength and bravery, skills that have allowed mankind to go beyond, out of the known boundaries. As explorers did in ancient times, now the astronaut goes to space following that same human need of knowledge”, says Antonella.
The Pezzani family is not new in ESA competitions: Antonella participated in the name contest for Christer Fuglesang’s mission -then named Alissé - and her oldest child joined the ESA/UNICEF water competition within Frank De Winne’s mission… and he won!
Without any fear, Antonella would love to be a space tourist and take her family up there. Until that happens, her name will do it.
Last update: 19 March 2013