Born: 15 October 1964
Family: married and has three children
Hobbies: soccer, running, swimming and reading
Roberto graduated from the Italian Air Force Academy in 1989 with a degree in Aeronautical Science. He completed basic training with the U.S. Air Force in 1990 and graduated from the U.S. Navy Test Pilot School in 1995.
Roberto is a colonel in the Italian Air Force. He has logged nearly 2000 hours in over 40 different aircraft.
In July 1998, he was selected as an astronaut by the Italian Space Agency (ASI), in cooperation with ESA and, one month later, he joined the European Astronaut Corps in Germany.
In 2001, he began training as board engineer at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre (GCTC) in Moscow, to get ready for his first spaceflight. In 2002, Roberto took part in a taxi-flight to the International Space Station. One main goal of this mission was to deliver a new 'lifeboat' to the Station to be used by the resident crew if an emergency takes place.
Robert’s second mission to the International Space Station was in 2005. As flight engineer on both ascent and return, he had an important role in piloting and docking the spacecraft. On board the ISS, he carried out an intensive experimental programme.
In total, Robert has spent 19 days, 18 hours and 47 minutes in space!