Our Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano completed his first mission to the International Space Station in 2013. As he prepares to be launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for his second mission – known as Beyond – this month, Luca reflects on his spaceflight experience and how it has shaped his approach.
During his first mission, known as Volare, Luca spent 166 days in orbit and undertook two spacewalks. The first one was completed successfully, but the second was dramatically cut short when a water leak threatened to drown Luca inside his helmet.
This experience, alongside other challenges he overcame during his mission and on-the-ground training, have helped him not only prepare for a second spaceflight but also to take on the role of International Space Station Commander during the second part of his Beyond mission.
Luca is an experienced test pilot who has logged over 2000 hours of flying time on more than 40 different types of aircraft. In addition to Italian, English and French, he also speaks Russian, which is essential to his role as a flight engineer onboard the Russian Soyuz spacecraft.
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