The Futura mission logo was revealed today for ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti’s long-duration expedition to the International Space Station.
The logo has been chosen from competition entries asking for a design that captured the elements of her mission: research, discovery, science, technology, exploration, wonder, adventure, travel, excellence, teamwork, humanity, enthusiasm, dreams and nutrition.
Samantha explains: “I derive a strong sense of purpose from being part of the space community, as we build a future in space for we human beings. The name Futura for me is about our collective journey towards that future.”
From the many entries, a design made by 31-year-old Valerio Papeti from Turin, Italy, was chosen.
The logo shows a stylised orbit of the International Space Station circling Earth – symbolising the connection between our planet and the orbital outpost.
Valerio added a sunrise as it is the most beautiful image he has seen from space. The sunrise also symbolises the future of discoveries and new horizons for Italy and humankind.
Samantha continues: “The logo beautifully represents that momentum, that voyage of discovery. As a European of Italian nationality, I am especially proud of Europe’s and Italy’s contribution to this endeavour and I am happy to see Europe ’s outline and the Italian colours in the design.”
Valerio has a degree in Fine Arts at the Albertina Academy of Fine Arts in Turin. He likes astronomy, science, art and combining them all in his work, although he considers himself a better artist than scientist.
Samantha will be the seventh Italian astronaut to fly in space and her mission is the second long-duration mission for Italy’s ASI space agency, following Luca Parmitano’s Volare mission last year. The logo reflects Italy’s involvement using the three colours of the national flag.
The Futura mission will blast off in November this year, and Samantha will follow ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst on the Space Station. Alexander’s mission starts this May.
Samantha was a fighter pilot in the Italian air force before joining ESA’s astronaut corps in 2009. She will be the third astronaut of ESA’s new recruits to fly in space. She is fluent in many languages and her trip to the Station will be the 42nd expedition.
During the six months she stays on the space laboratory she will run new international experiments and continue the research of her astronaut colleagues.