During his stay in orbit, André Kuipers will have a unique view of ‘Spaceship Earth’ from his very own spaceship, the International Space Station. From the spectacular vantage point provided by Cupola, the ESA astronaut will have the opportunity to observe both the beauty and fragility of our planet.
His observations will support the ESA online lessons designed to help European children strengthen their knowledge in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. These will be part of three themes covering topics such as Life in Space, Biodiversity on Earth and planet Earth’s climate.
As part of Spaceship Earth, André will perform experiments on board which can also be carried out by schools. ESA is providing school kits with replicas of the experiments on board the ISS.
Lessons associated with Spaceschip Earth will be released throughout the PromISSe mission.
Theme 1: Life
Radiation is the term used for all phenomena characterised by the transport of energy, either by waves or sub-atomic particles. This lesson for secondary school students (16-18), explains different types of radiations and how some forms of radiation pose a threat to astronauts.
Balance in Space
Keeping balance on Earth is relatively easy because gravity dictates how the vestibular apparatuses behave in the inner ears. In conditions of microgravity such as on the ISS, astronauts can be very easily disoriented. This lesson for lower secondary school children (12-14) demonstrates how balance can also be affected by visual cues and incorporates a fun practical activity.
Understanding how the immune system functions will eventually lead to answers about many diseases including cancers. This lesson, intended for upper secondary school students (14-17), explains the basics of the immune system but also discusses the fact that astronauts in Space, for various reasons, have depressed immune responses. This is particularly important to study if humans are to live in microgravity for extended periods of time
Life Support Systems
We now have the capability to leave planet Earth. However, if man is to live in space and travel to other planets, we must learn how to survive out there for longer periods of time; we have to recreate in space the vital ingredients for life on Earth.
On the International Space Station many of Earth’s environmental support systems have already been engineered. Examining how some of these key technologies work, allows us to understand the vital ingredients that make Earth such an ideal place to live.
In the DVD ‘Ingredients for Life: On Earth and in Space’, aimed primarily at 16-18 year old students, we explore how ESA is dealing with these scientific and technological challenges, and we answer questions like: Why do we need water and oxygen? How do astronauts get the oxygen they need to survive in space?
Theme 2: Biodiversity
Convection depends on gravity: as liquids and gases heat up they become less dense and lighter. When they cool again, they become denser and fall towards Earth. These processes can be observed in large scale on Earth but also in the small convection loops provided in the ESA EPO kits. Ocean currents and atmospheric movement due to warmth from the Sun determines where life on Earth flourishes and where life struggles. Biodiverse regions on Earth are largely dependent on convection.
The Expedition Three crew members–astronaut Frank L. Culbertson, Jr., commander, and cosmonauts Vladimir N. Dezhurov and Mikhail Tyurin, flight engineers–had the following to say about the insignia for their scheduled mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS): “The book of space history turns from the chapter written onboard the Russian Mir Station and the U.S. Space Shuttle to the next new chapter, one that will be written on the blank pages of the future by space explorers working for the benefit of the entire world. The space walker signifies the human element of this endeavor. The star representing the members of the third expedition, and the entire multi-national Space Station building team, streaks into the dawning era of cooperative space exploration, represented by the image of the International Space Station as it nears completion.”
The International Space Station Expedition Two patch depicts the Space Station as it appears during the time the second crew will be on board. The Station flying over the Earth represents the overall reason for having a space station: to benefit the world through scientific research and international cooperation in space. The number 2 is for the second expedition and is enclosed in the Cyrillic MKS and Latin ISS which are the respective Russian and English abbreviations for the International Space Station. The United States and Russian flags show the nationalities of the crew indicating the joint nature of the program. When asked about the stars in the background, a crew spokesman said they “…represent the thousands of space workers throughout the ISS partnership who have contributed to the successful construction of our International Space Station.”
The first International Space Station crew patch is a simplified graphic of the station complex when fully completed. The station is seen with solar arrays turned forward. The last names of the Expedition One crew, Soyuz pilot Yuri Gidzenko, flight engineer Sergei Krikalev, and expedition commander William (Bill) Shepherd, appear under the station symbol.
This full colour patch measures approx 10cm x 7.5 cm (4″ x 3″)
A limited edition of only 100 patches – a ‘Spaceboosters’ exclusive.
The Hubble Space Telescope (HST), a collaboration between ESA and NASA, is a 2.4 m-diameter space telescope optimised to observe from the ultraviolet to the infrared. Launched in 1990 and designed to be refurbished in space by astronauts, Hubble is one of the greatest scientific projects of all time. Since launch, it has opened our eyes to the wonders of our ‘planetary’ backyard and beyond. In so many ways, Hubble has revolutionised modern astronomy, not only by being an efficient tool for making new discoveries, but also by changing the way astronomical research is done.
At the heart of HST is a 2.4 m-diameter primary mirror. This supplies light to a collection of five science instruments that work across the entire optical spectrum: from infrared, through the visible, to ultraviolet light.
It has three cameras, two spectrographs and a set of Fine Guidance Sensors that allow Hubble to accurately point to targets on the sky. HST was placed in a low orbit and was designed to be serviced in space by astronauts on the Space Shuttle, thus allowing instruments to be replaced as technology improved, and observatory subsystems to be repaired and modernised.
Power for the computers and scientific instruments is provided by two solar wings. The solar wings also charge six nickel-hydrogen batteries that power the spacecraft for about 25 minutes per orbit while it flies through Earth’s shadow.
The telescope uses an elaborate system of attitude controls to improve its stability during observations. Reaction wheels manoeuvre the telescope into place, and gyroscopes monitor its position in space. Fine Guidance Sensor units are used to lock onto guide stars to ensure the extremely high pointing accuracy needed to make precise observations.
Just released by Spaceboosters – NASA Apollo Mission Control Embroidered Patch.
This patch is one of limited edition of only 200 patches. Full colour and fully embroidered – Limited Edition Apollo NASA Space Patch
For more information on Sy Liebergot and his book please visit: Sy Lybergot, Apollo Flight Controller and EECOM.
André makes a PromISSe
All the pieces are coming together for the next long mission by a European astronaut. Now it has a name and logo. ESA today revealed the name of André Kuipers’ mission: PromISSe.
ESA called on citizens of its member states last June to propose a name for André’s mission and received more than 200 proposals in just a month. Surprisingly, they also came from Slovenia, Australia, India, Mexico and Argentina.
The judges weighed the eligible entries from a wide range of people, from a 13-year-old Italian to an 82-year-old Dutchman.
The vast majority came from the Netherlands – André’s home country – and the winner is one of those.
It was not a declared intent to embed the abbreviation of the International Space Station in the logo, but both the design and the chosen name have it.
PromISSe represents ‘Programme for Research in Orbit Maximising the Inspiration from the Space Station for Europe’, explained the winner, Wim Holwerda, a 61-year-old Dutchman.
Wim believes that the name “symbolises the promise space exploration poses to the future of our planet and humankind, as well as the role Europe can play in it.”
André aboard ISS in 2006
An inspirational mission patch
The logo for the mission features the Space Station orbiting Earth, accompanied by three icons and six stars.
The PromISSe name crowns a circular design belted with orange cords, while the International Space Station acronym is highlighted in the same colour to bring out the Dutch participation in the mission.
The core of the logo is a globe free of national borders. A silhouette of the ISS is shown circling Earth, about to fly over Europe.
The icons on the left represent the mission’s three crucial elements: science, technology and education.
The globe stands for a knowledge-based society focused on our planet. The electronic circuit denotes technology. The conical laboratory flask illustrates scientific research.
The six stars represent the six crewmembers, the six months that André will stay in space and, as the stars are similar to those on the EU flag, the European character.
André will work on the Station as a member of Expedition 30. His launch is expected in early December, but the specific date will be selected after the Soyuz launch vehicle is returned to service following the Progress loss in August.
- China Spaceflight – Shenzhou 10 Embroidered Mission Patch
- Space Helmet Moustache Patch
- Shenzhou 9 Embroidered Mission Patch
- International Space Station Insignia
- Space Shuttle Orbiter Flag Patches including Enterprise,Columbia,Challenger,Endeavour,Discovery & Atlantis
- Looking back – ISS Crew Patches
- Official André Kuipers ‘Spaceship Earth’ Embroidered Patch
- NASA Commercial Crew Pin (CCP)
- ESA ATV-4 Automated Transfer Vehicle Official Embroidered Patch
- ESA ATV-3 Automated Transfer Vehicle Official Embroidered Patch
- ESA National Flags Patch
- Space Station Expedition 3 Insignia