Profile of Paolo Nespoli, astronaut for the European Space Agency

by | Jul 25, 2012 | Seradata News | 0 comments

Paolo Nespoli, an Italian astronaut for the European Space Agency, has been in orbit twice. Firstly, he was part of the Space Shuttle Discovery crew during NASA’s STS-120 mission to deliver the Harmony module to the International Space Station in 2007. Most recently, he returned to the ISS via the Soyuz TMA-20 for expedition 26/27, which launched in December 2010. Nespoli returned to Earth in May 2011.

Nespoli, 55, trained as an aerospace engineer but during his national service he enjoyed life in the Italian armed forces so much he stayed on for another seven years. He served in the Italian Special forces, even taking part in exercises with the British Army’s SAS.

However, despite how tough and resourceful he is, on his most recent space mission Nespoli had to cope with being told his mother was seriously ill and would die while he was still in orbit. Nespoli is grateful for the communications and video patches NASA and ESA provided during this difficult time, which allowed him to say his farewells to his mother just before she died.

He is especially grateful for the kindness and respect he was shown – his commander arranged one minute of crew and radio silence as Nespoli looked down on Italy from the ISS while his mother’s funeral took place. After her death, Nespoli, received messages of condolence from the president of Italy and even the Pope.

When asked if he was religious, Nespoli says he was born a Catholic but did not really practise regularly. However, he adds: “But surely being in space and seeing the Earth from far away makes you wonder even more.”

He came in for praise during his Soyuz mission by taking some memorable photographs and videos from the spacecraft and the ISS, but the modest Nespoli adds: “We should really send a professional photographer up there.”

Nespoli, who is married and has a three-year-old daughter, displayed a natural affinity for communicating to a young audience at the Farnborough air show, where he lectured on spaceflight alongside British astronaut-to-be and former army helicopter test pilot Maj Tim Peake. Nespoli remains on the active spaceflight list as an astronaut, and hopes to enter orbit again soon.

 

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to www.seradata.com/spacetrak

Related Articles

Proton-M launches Elektro-L N4 weather sat for Russia

A Proton-M/Block DM-03 launch vehicle was successfully launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome, near Tyuratam in Kazakhstan at 0912 GMT on 5 Read more

SSLV failure cause: Violent second stage separation triggered chain of events which prevented SSLV final stage burn to stable orbit

The failure investigation set up by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) into the launch failure of the maiden flight Read more

South Korea confirms shift of two missions from Russian launchers; Kompsat 6 goes to Arianespace and CAS500-2 goes back to international market

The South Korean vice-minister for Science, Oh Tae-seog, announced on 1 February 2023 that they had selected an Arianespace Vega Read more

SpaceX launches another batch of Starlinks plus ION-SCV9 delivery spacecraft testing separation system

A Falcon 9v1.2FT Block 5 was launched from the Vandenberg Space Force base in California at 1615 GMT on 31 Read more

US sanctions SPACETY for supplying radar imagery to Russian Wagner Group in Ukraine

Just as Ukraine's military campaign has been supported by US commercial spacecraft operating firms — with SpaceX and Maxar providing Read more

Tianwen 1 mission’s Zhurong-1 Mars rover may have expired in its sleep

SpaceNews reports (quoting the South China Morning Post) that the Zhurong 1 Mars rover as part of the Tianwen 1 Read more

Tom Cruise may have saved cinema industry with Top Gun-Maverick but he has even higher movie plans with space station studio module now ordered

While action film actor Tom Cruise has his detractors, you cannot say he is not successful. Recently starring in the Read more

China deploys 14 satellites on Long March-2D rocket

The Chinese sent 14 new satellites into orbit on a Long March-2D/2 (CZ-2D/2) rocket at 0314 GMT on 15 January. Read more

Categories

Archives