ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano (IT) is assigned to fly on the Soyuz TMA-09M spacecraft to the International Space Station, under an agreement with the Italian space agency ASI and NASA, scheduled for May 2013 and as part of the Expedition 36/37 crew. Expedition 37 begins with Parmitano, cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin and NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg being joined by cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergei Ryanzansky, and NASA's Michael Hopkins in September 2013.
A competition was opened by ASI for Italian residents to suggest a mission name and logo. Norberto Cioffi, 32, from Milan, sent in the winning mission name ‘Volare’, which means ‘to fly’ in Italian. The name symbolises the search for new frontiers and opportunities for discovery.
The winning logo was designed by Ilaria Sardella, 28, from Taranto. This logo contains many elements of Luca’s mission: the Soyuz spacecraft that will fly him to the orbital outpost, the Station itself and the colours of the Italian flag. The orbits represent the human desire to travel beyond Earth and the Sun as well as our curiosity for knowledge.