Survival and Development of Photosynthetic Oxygenic Organisms Tolerant to Space Radiation and Production of Compounds with Anti-Oxidant Properties

The Foton-M3 space mission
2007, September 14 – 26

Activities before the launch

Noordwijk, The Netherlands.
The containers with the biological samples are mounted inside Photo-II box. Last checks before deliver the instrument to the the ESTEC centre of European Space Agency.

Baikonour (Kazaksthan).
Photo-II and Liulin-Photo dosimeter (mounted above) are weighted, in their final configuration, before being integrated in the satellite capsule. This time the experiment resulted 30 g lighter than for Foton-M2 mission…

Baikonour Cosmodrome (Kazaksthan).
Scientific team members just before Photo-II has been integrated on board Foton-M3:
(from the left) engeneers from Kayser Italia; Dr. Maria Teresa Giardi (coordinator of the Photo project); Fabio Turchet (C.A.R.S.O); Rene Demets (ESA Project Scientist for the Foton-M3 mission)

Baikonour Cosmodrome (Kazaksthan).
The Foton-M3 capsule some hours before the launch.

Baikonour Cosmodrome (Kazaksthan). Detail of the Foton-M3 capsule. Inside are visible some of the experiments. The Photo-II experiment is clearly visible in the right side.

Foton-M3 successfully reaches the Space…

Baikonour Cosmodrome (Kazaksthan). On September 14, 2007, Foton-M3 took off at 11:00 UT on board a Soyuz-U rocket. Watch the high-resolution movie the launch (© ESA)

…and successfully comes back to Earth

Kazaksthan, not far from the Russian border. September 26, 2007, 07:58 UT.
Foton-M3 capsule has just came back to Earth and the authorized personnel starts to retrieve each experiment from it.

Foton-M3 capsule is transported away from the landing site.
(Courtesy of Martin Shuster)

Noordwijk, The Netherlands. September 28, 2007.
Photo-II experiment is retrieved and it is ready to be carried back to laboratory in Rome (Italy).