“Well, how to fascinate people to the mission “ISS Expedition 42/43 Furura” in the space?” This seams what ESA and the public communication staff should have thought at the very beginning of Samantha Cristoforetti adventure. And the answer probably was: “Let Samantha speak and speak about Samantha”.
I’ve never received so many information about a space mission before, neither when Umberto Guidoni, an other italian astronaut, was the first European to board on the International Space Station in 2001. I’ve never seen so many connections from space as I’ve seen this year, especially on mainstream TV.
Did you remember the video connection during the “Festival di San Remo” or the one during the TV programme “Che fuori tempo che fa“ . But it’s not just TV, for example on the 24 th of march the astronaut has made a phone connection with students of Trento, Madrid and Vienna. And why?
First of all because the character of Samantha works, she is very good at speaking, she is very clear and she is brilliant. Second because she is a woman and this is something that in Italy , suddenly, makes noise and keep on capturing the attention of all the media. She is the first italian woman astronaut and the third of ESA.
So Samantha is the right person to bet on to put in contact public without a scientific background with experiments they are doing in the space: human physiology experiments, biologic analysis and 3D print without gravity and moreover with nutrition education, a subject which Samantha considers very important.
Avamposto 42 is the official web-site of the Italian Space Agency (ASI), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Aeronautica Militare which is following Samantha Space mission. On this site Samantha uploads videos for example about her training, writes a logbook where you can find curiosity about her and her personal adventure and gives answers to all your questions. Yes all, even the question of Mrs Carla who wanted to know how to manage with the period during the permanence in space. But at the same time you can find all the news about the mission, the experiments that they’re making and her suggestions and those of her personal chef Stefano Polato and doctor Filippo Ongaro, about the importance of healty nutrition and physical activity.
A right testimonial has indeed a huge potential in Communication of Science that should not be underestimated.
Camilla Dalla Bona