After completing a long and highly demanding period of training along with the rest of the Space Shuttle crew, ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli is finally ready for the Esperia Mission.
In only a few weeks time, Italian ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli will join six NASA astronauts on board Space Shuttle Discovery to fly to the International Space Station (ISS).
Their task is a challenging one. The Esperia Mission is responsible for the safe delivery and attachment of the ESA financed Node 2 connecting module to the ISS, an essential step for the Station to be able to receive the European Columbus laboratory with the next Shuttle flight in December 2007.
In his role as a Mission Specialist, Paolo Nespoli is going to coordinate three spacewalks and carry out a programme of scientific experiments created jointly by the European and the Italian space agencies on top of other communication and educational activities.