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|Astronaut, European Space Agency (ESA)|
September 27, 1976 |
|Other occupation||pilot, Italian Air Force|
|Previous occupation||Test Pilot|
|Selection||2009 ESA Group|
Luca Parmitano (born in Paternò 27 September 1976) is an Italian astronaut in the European Astronaut Corps for the European Space Agency (ESA). The astronauts work on missions at the International Space Station. He was selected as an ESA astronaut in May 2009. Parmitano is also a Major and pilot for the Italian Air Force. He was born in Paternò in Italy.
Parmitano considers Catania his hometown. He is married with Kathy Dillow, two daughters. He 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 with Sparviero IV academic course, from the Italian Accademia Aeronautica, 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 Institut Supérieur de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace (ISAE), in Toulouse, France.
Special honours 
In 2007, awarded the Medaglia al Valore Aeronautico d'Argento (Decoration for Aeronautical Valour in Silver) by the President of the Italian Republic.
Parmitano is a Major in the Italian Air Force and an Astronaut of the European Space Agency. He has logged more than 2000 hours flying time, is qualified on more than 20 types of military aircraft (both fixed-wing and rotary-wing) and has flown over 40 types of aircraft.
Following completion of undergraduate pilot training in 2001, Parmitano flew the AMX aircraft with the 13th Squadron, 32nd Wing in Amendola, Italy, from 2001 to 2007. During that time, he obtained all the qualifications on that aircraft, including Combat Ready, Four Ship Leader, and 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 May 2009, Parmitano was selected as an ESA astronaut. In February 2011, he was assigned as a flight engineer to Expedition 36/37 (a long-duration mission to the International Space Station) which is scheduled for launch aboard Soyuz TMA-09M on 28 May 2013. His mission will be called Volare, which means "to fly" in Italian and is reminiscent of a very famous song by the Italian singer Domenico Modugno.