Media had their first opportunity to ask questions of ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano in Europe on Saturday 8 February 2020 – just two days after he returned from 201 days in space.
This news conference at ESA’s European Astronaut Centre (EAC) started at 12:30 CET (11:30 GMT) with an introduction from the Head of EAC Frank De Winne, followed by statements from ESA Director General Jan Wörner and Director of Human and Robotic Exploration David Parker.
Luca then answered a range of questions about his recent mission, known as ‘Beyond’.
The entire conference was broadcast live on ESA Web TV.
Beyond was Luca’s second long-duration mission to the International Space Station. His first was Volare in. 2013.
Luca was launched to the Station 20 July 2019 – the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing – and returned 6 February 2020 in the Russian Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft.
During his Beyond mission he became the third European and first Italian in command of the Space Station, set the record for longest cumulative spacewalking time by a European astronaut, remotely controlled a rock-collecting rover in the Netherlands, supported over 50 European and 200 international experiments and welcomed the first Emirati astronaut Hazzaa Ali Almansoori among other mission highlights.
(Please note: There were some technical issues about 45-50 minutes into the press conference, in the replay there is some loss of audio quality and loss of audio/image sync.)