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Recent blog posts:

zero-gravity-november-2017
05.12.2017

Zero-g flights in late November

41 photos

On November 28 we successfully performed two zero-gravity flights. Well-known Russian Company arranged an unusual corporate event dedicated to space topic for its specialists and we are very glad to see that cosmonautics becomes more and more popular. Program participants had a general tour around Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre area visiting its most important facilities learned how the cosmonauts prepare for the spaceflights, how the work and live on the orbit and even could feel

l39-flights-2017
28.11.2017

Jet flights for our Chinese guests

39 photos

For the last week Vegitel Company has arranged 4 flights aboard Aero L-39 Albatros jet fighter for Chinese tourists. They totally rocked this rather nasty day and filled it with joy and bright impressions. The tourists performed all kind of aerobatics aboard Aero L-39 Albatros, some of them were lucky to perform twin aerobatics together with Aero L-29 Delfin.

baikonur-tour-progress-launch-2017-31
20.10.2017

Baikonur tour – Progress MS-07 launch

32 photos

On October 10 our Russian-Japanese-Spanish team of space fans left rainy Moscow for warm and sunny Baikonur.

unicredit-gctc-tour-2017-10
09.10.2017

Corporate event in GCTC for Unicredit specialists

17 photos

On October 3 Vegitel successfully arranged corporate program for Unicredit bank specialists at Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre premises.

65
21.09.2017

Baikonur Tour – Soyuz MS-06 Launch

66 photos

Together with a group of space and adventure fans we saw off to space from Baikonur launch site one more international crew. From tour to tour our groups tend to grow in size and though the major part of the group were Russian citizens it is very pleasant to see that more and more foreign guests show great interest to Russian cosmonautics. This time we had a team of space fans from USA, tourists from Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand and France.

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Paolo Angelo NESPOLI

ESA Astronaut, Italy

DATE AND PLACE OF BIRTH:

Born on April 6, 1957 in Milan, Italy.

EDUCATION:

In 1988 Nespoli received a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the Polytechnic University of New York, USA.

In 1989 he received a Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the same University. In 1990 Nespoli received a Bachelor of Science in engineering mechanics.

FAMILY STATUS: Married.

HOBBY:

Has licenses of a private pilot and a skin-diver.

WORK EXPERIENCE:

In 1977 upon graduation from the Paolo Frisi lyceum in Milan he was drafted by the Italian Army and worked as a parachute instructor at the Scuola Militare di Paracadutismo of Pisa and since 1980 he worked as a Special Forces operator of the 9 Btg d’Assalto «Col Moschin» of Livorno.

In 1982-1984 Nespoli was assigned to the Italian contingent of the Multinational Peacekeeping Force in Beirut, Lebanon. After his return to Italy, he was appointed an officer and continued service.

Having graduated from the University and retied from the army as a major in 1987, he returned to Italy to work as a design engineer for Proel Tecnologie in Florence. Nespoli conducted mechanical analysis and participated in tests of the Electron Gun Assemblies for the Italian Tethered Satellite System TSS.

In 1991, he joined ESA’s European Astronaut Center in Cologne, Germany. He took part in support of the astronaut training and in 1995 was sent on a mission to Noordwijk and led a group responsible for preparation of personal computers used on the Mir Space Station.

In 1996 Nespoli was reported to Johnson Space Center (NASA) where he took part in the training preparation for the ISS crews.

In July 1998 the Italian Space Agency (ASI) selected Paolo Nespoli as an astronaut candidate, and on August 1, 1998 he was enlisted in ESA’s European Astronaut Corps (the 3-rd selection). In August 1998 he began general space training (GST) at Johnson Space Center and in 2000 he completed a course of general space training and was qualified as a mission specialist. Besides, in July 2001 Nespoli completed training in the Shuttle robotics arm control and in September 2003 — in the extravehicular activity.

On June 19, 2006 he was as signed to STS-120 crew.

Nespoli performed his first space flight from October 23 to November 7, 2007 as the Discovery Orbiter mission specialist under STS-120 program. The main mission task was the delivery of the Italian-built Node Harmony to the International Space Station, relocation of the Р6 Solar Array to its nominal place and also rotation of the Station crew flight engineer-2. The mission duration was 15 days, 2 hours and 23 minutes.

On November 21, 2008 by NASA decision (press release №08-306) he was assigned as a flight engineer in the ISS-24 Expedition backup crew and the ISS-26 Expedition prime crew. On October 7, 2009 his assignment was confirmed by NASA once more (press release №09-233).

On May 25-26, 2010 at the Cosmonaut Training Center Nespoli together with Dmitri Kondratiev and Catherine Coleman passed the preflight examinations with marks «5″ and «4.8″.

On June 14, 2010 by decision of the State Committee he was approved as flight engineer-1 of the Soyuz TMA-19 backup crew.

At the Soyuz TMA-19 TV launch on June 16, 2010 he was the vehicle flight engineer backup.

On November 24, 2010, at the Cosmonaut Training Center, together with Dmitri Kondratiev and Catherine Coleman, he passed the pre-flight examination training session in the ISS Russian Segment with excellent grade. On November 25, 2010 the crew passed an examination training session in the simulator of Soyuz TMA spacecraft.

On November 26, 2010 he was approved by Interagency Commission as the flight engineer of the main crew of Soyuz TMA-20. On December 14, 2010, at a meeting of the State Commission at the Baikonur launch site he was approved as the flight engineer of the main crew of Soyuz TMA-20.

He made his second spaceflight on December 15, 2010 through May 24, 2011 as the flight engineer of Soyuz TMA-20, flight engineer of ISS-26/27 together with Dmitri Kondratiev and Catherine Coleman. The mission duration was 159 days 8 hours and 17 minutes.

September 15 through 28, 2013 on Sardinia island (Italy) he took part in survival training in caves in order to acquire skills of teamwork under extreme conditions together with astronauts Michael Barratt, Jack Fischer, Jeremy Hansen, Satoshi Furukawa and cosmonaut Alexi Ovchinin. Prior to the survival training exercise the participants had received some preparatory training which included theoretical and practical sessions in the caves, a rock climbing course and exercises in handling climbing equipment, lectures on cartography and direction finding, work with the equipment needed to carry out the experimental science program.

On June 25, 2015 he began training at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center as a member of the main crew of ISS-52/53 together with Fedor Yurchikhin and Jack Fischer.

On August 6, 2015, his assignment to the main crew of Expedition ISS-52/53 was confirmed by NASA press release 15-161.

On January 28, 2016, at the Cosmonaut Training Center, together with Fedor Yurchikhin and Jack Fischer he underwent training in actions in case of emergency landing in marshy and wooded country in winter.