A crater for Angioletta
Breaking one rule that was established by naming the craters of the asteroid Vesta in female personalities of the ancient Roman world, the mission team decided to dedicate one of the INAF planetologist Angioletta Coradini, who died three years ago. “The worldwide confirmation – says Maria Cristina de Sanctis INAF-IAPS – in recognizing her work as a scientist”.
The crater called Angioletta Coradini, it is located on Vesta, the asteroid object, along with Ceres, and the attention of NASA’s Dawn probe on which is installed the visual and infrared spectrometer VIR.
The name was officially approved and implemented during the last team meeting of Dawn.
Three years after his death, therefore, there are no lack certificates and recognition of the scientific and professional worth of Angioletta Coradini, which from the beginning of her career had one of the leading roles in many space missions. Her instruments are on board of the Mars Express orbiter ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft now engaged, after ten years of travel, in the analysis of the nucleus of Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet, the NASA’s Juno spacecraft, the Cassini probe, which has been studying for ten years the Saturn system and the Venus Express.
Maria Cristina De Sanctis is now the team leader of the instrument VIR’s of the Dawn mission: “All the craters on Vesta have been attributed to female personalities of the ancient Roman world. The only exception is to Angioletta Coradini. ”
“Angioletta Coradini” adds the INAF-IAPS researcher “is one of the most important scientists at a worldwide level in the field of planetary science and the exception that we made in awarding her a crater, proves it.”
Here are some of her important missions as a member in the participation of some international scientific projects. She began her career in the 70s as a co—investigator for NASA lunar and planetary research. In the late 80s and the beginning of 90s, she was part of teams of the Italian Team for the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer (PFS) and Omega Vnir spectrometer for the Soviet Mars 94/96 mission, as well as a member of the Phase A Assessment team for ESA Rosetta, third cornerstone, the coordinator of the Moon Orbiting Observatory (MORO) proposal and a member of the MORO science team. In the years before her death, she was Principal Investigator of the VIR instrument for the NASA Dawn Discovery mission and Principal Investigator of the Jiram Instrument for the NASA New Frontiers Juno mission, plus a member of the Space Advisory Group (SAG) of the European Community.
Among the awards she received, two of them are post-mortem. These awards are the Jean Dominique Cassini Medal and Honorary Membership and the 2012 NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal. The two post-mortem awards were given in recognition of her important work and studies in Planetary Sciences and solar system formation, and her leading role in the improvement and development of space infrared instrumentation for planetary exploration.