We Fly! With Futura – Flag ceremony

Cremona, 14 Jun 2014

During the Italian Space Agency’s Futura mission, the European Space Agency’s astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, captain pilot of the Italian Air force, in cooperation with the Italian aerobatic WeFly! Team, the world's only team of paraplegic pilots who fly on hand controlled ultralight airplanes, will bring a message dedicated to all disabled people directly to space.

This special partnership, named "WeFly and Futura - Dare to fly" shows how, by overcoming one’s own challenges and difficulties, it is possible to make one’s dreams come true.

During a public ceremony in Cremona on 14 June, the Wefly! Team pilots will give Samantha a flag that she will then take with her to the ISS in November. Throughout the year the Team will be wearing the colours of this initiative, and their planes as well will show off the colours of this collaboration.

ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti will be the fifth Italian onboard the ISS, following Umberto Guidoni, Roberto Vittori, Paolo Nespoli, and Luca Parmitano. She will be leaving Earth in November 2014 on her Futura mission, ASI’s second long-term mission, following Luca Parmitano’s Volare experience.

The WeFly! Team was founded in 2005. The team members are Alessandro Paleri (leader), quadriplegic since 1987, Marco Cherubini (left wingman) paraplegic since 1995, and Erich Kustatscher (right wingman), the only non-disabled member of the team.