Hobbies: scuba diving, piloting aircraft, assembly of computer hardware, electronic equipment and computer software
Paolo has a degree in Aerospace Engineering and a Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics. In 1977 he was drafted by the Italian army and worked as a parachute instructor. He is also a Master parachutist, jump master and Special Forces operator.
In 1991 he joined ESA's European Astronaut Centre in Germany. As an astronaut training engineer, he helped with the basic training for the European astronauts.
In July 1998, he was selected as an astronaut by the Italian space agency (ASI), and one month later, joined ESA's European Astronaut Corps in Germany.
Paolo worked at NASA's Johnson Space Centre and at the Cosmonaut Training Centre in Russia, before flying as Mission Specialist to the International Space Station on board the Space Shuttle Discovery.
In November 2008, Paolo became part of Expedition 26/27, a long duration mission to the International Space Station that is planned to take place from November 2010 to May 2011. He recently started his ISS training in Russia and in the US.
Paolo has spent a total of 15 days, 2 hours and 23 minutes in space!
Last update: 11 November 2010