With the Neptune project, from the abyss to space, submariners and astronauts ever closer

(To Marina Militare)

It was a very special return for the submarine crew Todaro that after a long mission in the Mediterranean was welcomed by a team from the University of Florence.

At submersible flotilla command in Taranto, biological samples were taken at the end of the mission on a group of submariners volunteers. The activity is part of the project Neptune which provides in-depth comparative studies of physiology and biology among the astronauts of the International Space Station and the crews of the Italian submarines.

Both, although at decidedly different "altitudes", are engaged for prolonged periods of time in a confined space and with reduced margins of error, resulting in an environment with a high risk of stress. Reason for which, in the Abyss as in Space, not only great technical-professional specialization and high technology are needed but also specific aptitude skills and attention to Human Factor.

The research project involves, in addition to the Navy, the European Space Agency, the Italian Space Agency, the University of Florence (ASAcampus-DSBSC, BIO, DMSC), the University of Milan (DiSFeB), the University di Siena (DSV), University of Munich and Brussels University.

At the end of the collection of the samples, the commander of MARICOSOM, Rear Admiral Vito Lacerenza, made a situation report with the project partners to discuss the next steps in the medical and scientific collaboration. Neptune is in fact for the Navy one of the fields of concrete cooperation between the human and technological excellences of our country thanks to which it will be possible to play a leading role in the challenges of the twenty-first century from the Abyss to Deep Space.