The next few months will be an important step forward in the completion of the International Space Station. Two significant missions involving this country and Alenia Spazio are now ready.

On 15 April, the ENEIDE mission with the Italian astronaut Roberto Vittori on board will depart from Baikonur in Kazakhstan.

ENEIDE is one of the most important experiments that will be carried out on board Soyuz during the mission, with the objective of assessing, for the first time on board an inhabited space vehicle, the reliability under extreme conditions of the navigation signal provided by the GPS-Egnos satellite navigation system.

Alenia Spazio has produced the multi-standard receiver for ENEIDE, which will be managed directly by the astronaut through a dedicated interface installed on a portable PC.

Approximately 4 hours after launching, Roberto Vittori will activate the experiment, which will remain operational for the next 36 hours, and it is estimated that it will continue to function for the duration of the mission, estimated at approximately one week.

Another significant mission towards the Space Station will occur in May: the return to orbit of the Shuttle, with the Italian MPLM module built by Alenia Spazio on board.

During its 12-day mission to the International Space Station, Discovery’s seven person crew will test new hardware and techniques to improve Shuttle safety and deliver supplies.

It is the first Shuttle mission since the Columbia accident in February 2003.