Luca Parmitano first Italian to command International Space Station

Oct 03, 2019 843

BY: Davide Urietti

Today, Wednesday 2 October, is an important day for astronaut Luca Parmitano, as he is set to become the first Italian commander of the International Space Station (ISS). Only two other Europeans have previously held this position. In 2009 it was the turn of the Belgian Frank De Winne, while in 2018 the German Alexander Gerst took on this prestigious role. Parmitano will take over from the current commander, the Russian Alexei Ovchinin, and Expedition 61 will officially start.

It is certainly not down to chance that Luca Parmitano, born in 1976, has been given this responsibility. His career speaks for him: before being recruited in 2009 by ESA, the European Space Agency, he had a successful military background in the Italian air force, reaching the rank of colonel. 

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