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New astronauts

Luca Salvo Parmitano

Personal data

Born in Paternò, Italy, on 27 September 1976. Married with one daughter. Parmitano is an active scuba diver and enjoys snowboarding, skydiving, weight training and swimming. Other interests include reading and music.

Parmitano graduated from the Liceo Scientifico Statale `Galileo Galilei´ in Catania, Italy, in 1995.

In 1999, he completed a bachelor's degree in political sciences at the University of Naples Federico II, Italy, with a thesis on international law. In 2000, he graduated from the Italian Air Force Academy, in Pozzuoli, Italy.

Parmitano completed basic training with the U.S. Air Force at the Euro-Nato Joint Jet Pilot Training in Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, US, in 2001. He completed the JCO/CAS course with the USAFE in Sembach, Germany, in 2002.

In 2003, he qualified as Electronic Warfare Officer at the ReSTOGE in Pratica di Mare, Italy. He completed the Tactical Leadership Programme (TLP) in Florennes, Belgium, in 2005.

In July 2009, Parmitano completed a master’s degree in experimental flight test engineering at the Institute Superieure de l’Aeronautique et de l’Espace (ISAE), in Toulouse, France.

Special honours

Awarded a Silver Medal to the Aeronautical Valour by the President of the Italian Republic in 2007.


Following completion of undergraduate pilot training in 2001, Parmitano flew the AM-X aircraft with the 13th Squadron, 32nd Wing in Amendola, Italy, from 2001 to 2007. During that time, he obtained all the qualifications on the aircraft, including Combat Ready, Four Ship Leader, Mission Commander/Package Leader.

Within the 13th Squadron he served as Chief of Training Section and Commander of the 76th Flight. He was also the 32nd Wing Electronic Warfare Officer (EWO).

In 2007, he was selected by the Italian Air Force to become a test pilot. He trained as an Experimental Test Pilot at EPNER, the French test pilot school in Istres.

Parmitano is a captain in the Italian Air Force. He has logged more than 2000 hours flying time, is qualified on more than 20 types of military airplanes and helicopters, and has flown over 40 types of aircraft.

Parmitano was selected as an ESA astronaut in May 2009.