The E-USOC team, led by the UPM Professor Ana Laverón, receives recognition for excellence from the space institution at the ESA ISS Awards 2013, for his work with the experiments operated on the International Space Station.
“Our work has always been recognized by European Space Agency and scientific teams with whom we have worked, but we did not expect this great institutional recognition, because many people work around the International Space Station and it is very difficult be nominated and awarded “. With these words, the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) Professor and E-USOC director, Ana Laverón, has expressed their surprise for receiving one of the awards.
On behalf of E-USOC team, two of its members have attended the third edition of the ESA ISS Awards, held on 26 March in ESTEC’s Erasmus Centre (Netherlands).They have come as nominees in Awards (2013) for the Increment 31/32.
The reasons for the nomination have been that Spanish USOC has provided an outstanding operational support throughout the execution of the GEOFLOW-2 experiment. For several months, the team led by Dr. Ana Laveron has provided continuous support to the GEOFLOW science team, always with a positive attitude. The E-USOC has also gained significant experience in the operational support of several hardware malfunctions / anomalies, ensuring valuable operational data gathering to support the work of the engineering community.
The award was introduced by astronaut André Kuipers, who was at the ISS for the increment 31/32, a symbol of the union between the different people that make space research. The trophy itself is a piece of ESA’s history – it is a bronze casting of astronaut Hans Schlegel’s Extra Vehicular Activity glove, used for the installation of the Columbus module on the Space Station in 2008. It symbolizes the handshake of trust between the crew and those that made the missions a success.
Indeed, among those on earth, is the Operations Center and Spanish User Support, located on Technical University of Madrid Campus of International Excellence Montegancedo. Ana Laverón, in charge of E-USOC, argues:
“This award has been the best recognition of the efforts that we have been devoted to obtain the best possible science from the experiments delegated to us by the European Space Agency.”
E-USOC has recently finished the operations on Geoflow-2B experiment, which obtained experimental and essential results to validate numerical models on the flow and composition of the Earth’s core and it is preparing the next, DCMIX-2, an experiment for study ternary diffusion in fluids. They will operate it during two or three months after its arrival at the ISS.
The human side of space research
Expertise, professionalism and dedication were recognized in the third ISS Award ceremony. The Director of Human Spaceflight and Operations, Thomas Reiter, called the event “a unique opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the many excellent colleagues who with their expertise and through their personal dedication have contributed to successful missions.” Cooperation between all people involved in each mission is the key to its proper functioning and therefore they defined themselves as “a big family”, she said.