George Danos, the head of the Cyprus Space Exploration Organisation (CSEO), will be one of the few people to have direct personal contact with Paolo Nespoli, the European Space Agency’s astronaut who was launched into space on Friday, for his third mission. Nespoli first travelled into space aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery in 2007 on a 15 day mission, while in 2010 he travelled aboard the Soyuz TMA-20 spacecraft to the ISS where he stayed for six months.
Before the Italian astronaut’s journey to the International Space Station, 400 kilometres above the earth, Danos spoke with Nespoli and wished him every success in his mission, and then they discussed how to continue cooperation with CSEO from space, since Danos will be one of the few people who will be personally communicating with Nespoli during his stay in space. A first test email was sent recently successfully from Nicosia to the ISS on Friday.
The Cyprus Space Exploration Organisation (CSEO) is an NGO based in Cyprus, established by key international people in industry and academia. It promotes scientific research and development in the field of space exploration, astronautics and astrophysics, it’s ultimate goal being topromote and develop the space industry in Cyprus, create new jobs and encourage top Cypriot scientists to return to their homeland.. The cooperation of the CSEO with such a renowned astronaut is a coup for the NGO which has become a member of the biggest international space organisations since it was established.
Danos also expressed his hope to organise for Nespoli to communicate with school pupils during his stay on the ISS. Last September, the CSEO organised an event for students, which was where Nespoli described his previous space experiences and answered questions about the ISS and experiments conducted in space. Nespoli told his young audience that during their lifetime they will have the opportunity to witness the first landing of humans on Mars and possibly even visit the red planet themselves. Cyprus, he said, being part of Europe, will have the opportunity through ESA to send astronauts to the ISS.