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Ilaria Cinelli: a young Italian professional with a heart for Mars

A special mission reproducing the exact conditions of a real trip to Mars

Ilaria Cinelli: a young Italian professional with a heart for Mars

Claudia Astarita


Ilaria Cinelli, 31 years old, is the head of an international mission in the Utah desert. This is a perfect environment resembling to the one of the "red planet" Mars, where the experts are getting ready to go.

Originally from Florence, Ilaria now lives in Ireland where she is studying for a PhD at the university of Galway. As reported by the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, she got her bachelor in Pisa and then she continued with a master in bio-engineering and mechatronics. During her studies, she received a research scholarship in London, at the Aerospace Medical Association, a very prestigious body connected with Houston. Ilaria studies the behaviour of a human body in the space and surgery without gravity. This interesting topic of research pushed her to apply for the "Martian adventure" in the American desert. There, people behave as they were already on Mars: they eat astronauts food, constantly wear spacesuits and helmet.

Furthermore, people are surrounded by the amazing panorama characterising Mars Desert Research Station in Utah Desert. Ilaria leads a company made up of 6 astronauts and she is the only Italian. All of them had to pass hard tests to get in the station, such as challenging spin cycles and places reproducing the high level of stress astronauts might face on Mars.

Ilaria's dream is the one of going to Mars in the near future and this is why she and her team are conducting several scientific experiments. Moreover, thanks to technology and virtual reality, Ilaria and her team are reproducing the exact conditions of a real trip to Mars.

Worth mentioning is Ilaria's affection for her country: " I haven't abandoned Italy, I want to come back soon. I will apply for a job at the Italian Space Agency". Hopefully her next dream will come true very soon.

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