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Flight Engineer of Soyuz TMA
Lieutenant Colonel in the Italian Air Force,
ESA astronaut, Italy

DATE AND PLACE OF BIRTH: October 15, 1964, Viterbo, Italy.

EDUCATION: Graduated from the Italian Air Force Academy in 1989. Completed basic training with the US Air Force at Reese Air Force Base in Texas, US, in 1990. Graduated from the US Navy Test Pilot School in 1996. Completed the Italian Air Force's Accident Prevention course (Guidonia A.F.B., Italy) and Accident Investigation course (Kirtland A.F.B., New Mexico, US) between 1996 and 1997.

FAMILY STATUS: married to Valeria Vittori, born Nardi, has three children.

AWARDS AND RANKS: Academic award for completion of training at Reese Air Base, Texas. Honorary student of the Test Pilot School in Patuxent River, Maryland. Honorary student of the US Flight Safety School, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. Long Service medal from Italian Air Force (1997).

HOBBIES: soccer, jogging, swimming, reading.

WORK EXPERIENCE: From 1991 to 1994 he flew Tornado GR-1 aircraft as a member of squadron 155, regiment 50, Piacenza, Italy. During that period he completed training on in-flight refueling both during daytime and at night and was assigned to be a formation leader.
In 1995 he completed his training in US Air Force test pilot school. Then, till 1998, he served in the Italian Test Center as a pilot involved in the development of a new European airplane Euro fighter 2000. From 1996 to 1998 he was a national representative in the research and development program for air-to-air missiles.
In 1997 he enrolled in US Air Force flight safety school and during the period of 1997 to 1998 he served as a regimental flight safety officer at the Italian Flight Center. In addition to this, he taught aerodynamics within the framework of the Italian Air Force course on Accident Investigation.
He has logged more than 2000 hours in different aircraft, including F-104, GR-1 Tornado, F-18, AMX, M-2000, G-222 and P-180.
In July 1998 he was selected as an astronaut by the Italian Space Agency (ASI) in cooperation with ESA, and one month later he joined the European Astronaut Corps.
In August 1998 he was relocated to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas for participation in a training program for Shuttle and ISS missions, where he was trained as a mission specialist.
In March 2001 he was qualified as operator of Shuttle manipulator and in June same year he was also qualified as operator of the ISS-installed Canadarm manipulator in Canada.
In August 2001 he arrived at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center to start his training as Flight Engineer of the Soyuz TM-34 Prime Crew under the third Russian Visiting Crew ISS Program.
From April 25 through May 5, 2002 he performed his first space flight as the spacecraft Flight Engineer together with Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gudzenko as the spacecraft Commander and Mark Shuttleworth from the Republic of South Africa as the space flight participant. The crew was launched onboard the Soyuz TM-34 spacecraft and returned to Earch by the Descent Module of the Soyuz TM-33 spacecraft. The main goal of that mission was the scheduled change of the Soyuz-TM rescue vehicle. During his stay aboard the ISS he had conducted scientific experiments and investigations under the European Program ‘Marko Polo’. The flight duration was 9 days 21 hours 25 minutes and 18 seconds.
In August 2004 he began his training for the next space flight as Flight Engineer of the Soyuz TMA-6 transport spacecraft Prime Crew under the eighth Russian Visiting Crew ISS Program at the CTC after Yu.A. Gagarin.

March 2005.
Based on materials from Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center






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