Third Italian to Travel to Space

Age is not as important as experience when sending humans into space, Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli said recently. The European Space Agency veteran is in training for his next mission to the International Space Station in 2017, when he will be 60 years old.

“Age is secondary,” Nespoli said. “You have to have the physical prerequisites, but what matters most are competence and experience,” said Nespoli, who began his pre-flight training four weeks ago.

Nespoli is the third Italian to travel into space after Umberto Guidoni in April 2000 and Roberto Vittori in 2002. In 1998 he was one of two Italian astronauts to be chosen for the very first mission to the ISS.

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