Monthly Archive: October 2014

Seasonal products

Seasonal products are good for us but also for the environment. Transporting non-local products such as blueberries from Argentina, cherries from Chile or asparagus from Pere to Europe produces large amounts of carbon dioxide. An average family could save up to one ton of CO2 each year by simply choosing to consume seasonal fruits and vegetable. Italy has the advantage of having a very wide variety of food readily available.A change in the habits of Italian households could lead to a reduction of as much as 100 million tonnes of CO2 each year.

Stefano Polato, the head of the Space Food Lab Argotec, is a big supporter of seasonal products. “First of all it is better to behave in a more appropriate and responsible manner towards the environment, others and ourselves. Given that regional products do not travel very far, prices could be much lower. Before you buy something stop to think about the origin of what you are putting into your shopping basket and make sure to read the labels well. Often, even foods you wouldn’t think of at first arrive on our tables after traveling quite a few kilometres whereas similar products are available that are closer to home.”

Many people do not know that fish have seasons as well: “In Autumn and Winter mullet or turbot are best to eat. In Spring and Summer, however, my advice is to enjoy a good sea bass or sardines. In general, seasonal fish most likely not bred in tanks, avoiding issues related to livestock farming. Similarly, fruits and vegetables grown in greenhouses have drawbacks, typically the bland taste due to lack of sunlight.

In general, seasonal foods make us feel better, and contain more vitamins, so it is worth choosing regional and seasonal products like Argotect did for Samantha’s bonus food”.

Antonio Pilello

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Behind the scenes


A mission with the right character

Anton Shkaplerov and Terry Virts: do you recognize them? They are Samantha Cristoforetti’ s fellow mission members.  They were assigned the Soyuz TMA-15M mission that, in late November, will take them to the International Space Station.

Imagine them designing the mission patch for the Soyuz that will take them to space. What do you think they will desing? Here’s a clue: Samantha, Terry and Anton are not just astronauts, but also pilots. Do you have an idea? Here’s another hint: they all wanted to focus on the concept of balance.

Soyuz_TMA-15M_2014At this point, if you are a fan of flight simulators, you might have guessed what it might look like. Here is a third clue. imagine three tennis players inspired by their tennis racket.. Or three cyclists had taken the handlebar as a suggestion. Is it clear? No? Okay, will  tell you: do you know the instrument on an aircraft’s dashboard showing the vehicle’s  attitude during the flight? Yes, the one that tells the pilot the aircraft is pointing in the right direction? It is one of the most important tools for a pilot: the attitude indicator or artificial horizon.

Samantha, Terry and Anton were inspired by just that. As if they are telling us:  we go to space, but we need balance and technology.

Thanks to graphic design of Riccardo Rossi, the horizontal reference lines in the indicator are represented by the Soyuz itself and its solar panels, while the angular scales represent the angles of pitch and roll. The Soyuz corresponds to a roll angle of 15° and 15 is the serial number of this Soyuz TMA and a pitch angle of 51° which corresponds to the inclination of the orbit with respect to the equator.

But that’s not all. As in a medieval bestiary, there are countless other references and symbols. For example, the Sunrise depicts awareness and renewal, while the three stars more evident near the constellations of Auriga and Cassiopeia, represent the spaceflight dreams of the astronauts. As if their dreams had become stars.

Finally, the total number of stars corresponds to the last two digits of the launch year (2014), and – if we include the Sun – the last two digits of the year during which they will return (2015).

Finally, one last significant note. Look at the shadow of the Soyuz. It is not in the form of the Russian capsule but it has the shape of an airplane. In particular, it combines elements of a Russian MiG-29, a US F-16 and an Italian AMX, to underline the inextricable link between aviation and spaceflight.

Stefano Sandrelli

Don't panic