Cosmic visits

On Saturday, 19 September, ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano and Amalia Ercoli Finzi, Principal Investigator of the SD2 experiment on board the ESA Rosetta spacecraft, visited the AMS Control Centre and other CERN installations.


From left to right: Sergio Bertolucci (CERN Director of Research and Computing), Amalia Ercoli Finzi (Emeritus Professor in the Aerospace department of the Polytechnic University of Milan and Principal Investigator of the SD2 experiment on board the ESA Rosetta spacecraft), Maurice Bourquin (AMS-02 Senior Scientist and Honorary Professor in the Nuclear and Corpuscular Physics department of the University of Geneva) and Luca Parmitano (Major in the Italian Air Force and European Space Agency astronaut) in the AMS Payload and Operation Control Centre.

They were welcomed in the early morning by Sergio Bertolucci and then headed to the Prévessin site to visit the CERN Control Centre and the Payload and Operation Control Centre (POCC) of the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS). The Italian astronaut was able to visit the “Houston” of AMS, the experiment assembled at CERN and flown in July 2011 to the International Space Station, where he spent six months in 2013.

The group then moved to the CERN Computing Centre, where Amalia Ercoli Finzi encountered one of her former students, Alberto di Meglio, now a staff member in the IT department and Head of CERN Openlab. Before leaving, they had a short visit to IdeaSquare, where Luca Parmitano was given an introduction to the SR2S project, which aims to build a superconducting magnetic shield to protect astronauts from cosmic radiation. 

by Stefania Pandolfi