Join us for the ‘In orbit’ Lecture from ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli (free to attend). A Royal Aeronautical Society Careers & Space Group public lecture, Saturday, 28 April 2012. 14.00 for a 14.30 start. Venue: No.4 Hamilton Place, London, W1J 7BQ
We are very pleased to welcome ESA astronaut and Italian citizen Paolo Nespoli to the Royal Aeronautical Society for a special lecture as part of the Mission X educational programme. Paolo will provide an overview of his career – focusing on the highlights of his astronaut training, and long duration mission to the International Space Station. The talk will be aimed at both adults and children and will make a great family afternoon out as well as appeal to space professionals. There is no charge to attend, however due to limited place numbers please do register in advance by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7670 4325/6.
About the speaker:
Nespoli was drafted by the Italian army in 1977 and became a noncommissioned officer working as a parachute instructor at the Scuola Militare di Paracadutismo of Pisa. In 1980, he joined the 9 Btg d’Assalto “Col Moschin” of Livorno, where he became a Special Forces operator. From 1982 to 1984, he was assigned to the Italian contingent of the Multinational Peacekeeping Force in Beirut, Lebanon. Following his return to Italy, he was appointed an officer. He left active army duty in 1987.
Nespoli resumed university studies in 1985. Upon completing his M.Sc. in 1989, he returned to Italy to work as a design engineer for Proel Tecnologie in Florence as design and test engineer of space-qualified equipment and experiments.
In 1991, he joined ESA’s European Astronaut Center in Cologne, Germany. As an astronaut training engineer, he contributed to the preparation and implementation of basic training for the European astronauts, and he was responsible for the preparation and management of astronaut proficiency maintenance and the creation of an Astronaut Training Database.
In 1995, he was detached to the EUROMIR project at ESA’s ESTEC establishment in Noordwijk, The Netherlands, where he was responsible for the team that prepared, integrated and supported the Payload and Crew Support Computer used on the Russian space station Mir.
In 1996, he was detached to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, where he worked in the Spaceflight Training Division on the preparation of training for the ground and in-orbit crews of the International Space Station (ISS).
In July 1998, he was selected as an astronaut by the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and, 1 month later, joined ESA’s European astronaut corps, whose home base is the European Astronaut Center (EAC) in Cologne, Germany.
In August 1998, he was relocated to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, and assigned to the XVII NASA Astronaut class. In 2000, he obtained the necessary basic qualifications for being assigned to a mission on the space shuttle and the ISS. In July 2001, he successfully completed the course for operating the space shuttle robotic arm and, in September 2003, successfully completed the Extra Vehicular Activities advanced skills training.
In August 2004, he was temporarily assigned to the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Moscow, Russia, where he followed the initial training for the Soyuz spacecraft. On returning to NASA’s Astronaut Office at the Johnson Space Center, Houston, Nespoli performed proficiency training to maintain acquired qualifications and attended advanced courses. In addition, he carried out technical duties for NASA, ESA and ASI.
In June 2006, Nespoli was assigned to the crew of STS-120, an ISS assembly mission. STS-120 launched from the Kennedy Space Center on October 23, 2007. During the mission, the Italian-built Node 2 “Harmony” was delivered to the ISS. This element opened up the capability for future international laboratories to be added to the station. In addition, the P6 Solar Array was relocated from the Z1 Truss to the end of the port side of the Integrated Truss Structure. STS-120 returned to land at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on November 7, 2007. The mission was accomplished in 238 orbits, traveling 6.2 million miles in 15 days, 2 hours, and 23 minutes.
In December 2008, Nespoli was assigned to Expedition 26/27, a long-duration mission to the ISS. Expedition 26 launched from Baikonur Space Center in Kazakhstan on December 16, 2010 in the Russian-built Soyuz TMA-20 spacecraft, for which Nespoli was Flight Engineer 1. Nespoli and his two fellow Soyuz crewmembers joined three other crewmembers onboard the ISS, and during their 6-month tour of duty in space, they continued the construction of the ISS, maintained it and carried out scientific and technological experiments and educational activities. Expedition 26/27 returned to Earth on May 24, 2011, near Dzhezhazhan, Kazakhstan. This mission was accomplished in 2,544 orbits, traveling 63,345,600 miles in 159 days.