Paolo Nespoli and Post Flight Tour 2018 colleagues visit Maranello
Ferrari has received visitors from space; Five ESA (European Space Agency) astronauts landed at Maranello, including Paolo Nespoli and other members of Expedition 53: Russian commander Sergej Rjanzanskij and US astronauts Randy Bresnik, Mark Vande Hei and Joseph Acaba.
The visit was part of the Post Flight Tour programme and includes meetings with companies in the aerospace sector or technologically advanced companies such as Ferrari, to give an account of the activities conducted on the international space station. The visitors were given a tour of a number of Ferrari departments, from the assembly lines to the Officina Classiche, from the Nuova Meccanica to the showroom, where the astronauts posed for a photo next to the GTC4Lusso.
They enjoyed a fascinating stroll amidst unique cars and technologies that are advanced even for these astronauts, who have seen something as extraordinary as the depth of space with their own eyes.
Commander Rjanzanskij, with three spacewalks to his name, including one with the Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch, explained that although they fulfil very different functions, in reality the basic principles behind the design of a car and a spacecraft are not that different: “At Ferrari you combine technological excellence with craftsmanship, your cars are unique, precisely because every one is different. Each of your cars is fitted with different technological components, the fruit of continual technical research.
These rules also apply to aerospace engineering: each shuttle is unique, with many small but substantial differences from other models, and, above all, with an increasingly advanced technological component”.
Moving on to the Corse Clienti department, visitors were struck by the in-depth study of aerodynamics as well as the sophisticated technology of the F1 Clienti and XX Programmes cars. The astronauts appeared particularly curiosity about the processes behind the evolution of the various components and how, in general, each detail affects the times and performance of the cars.
“A racing car obviously travels slower than a shuttle: It couldn’t be otherwise because they have different purposes… And yet I believe that the excitement one feels is comparable. In space time is precious because every action is planned and optimised and it is the same for a driver on the track”, concluded Mark Vande Hei.