23:24 GMT +323 October 2019
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    Night Earth observation of Japan taken by Expedition 44 crewmember Scott Kelly, with a Soyuz Spacecraft connected to the Mini Research Module 1 (MRM1), and a Progress Spacecraft visible

    Italian Cosmonaut Looking Forward to Flight Next Year on Soyuz

    © Flickr/ Scott Kelly / NASA
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    The Russian and Italian space agencies continue to collaborate closely on the planned third space mission of veteran Italian cosmonaut Paolo Nespoli scheduled for 2017, Italian Space Agency (ASI) President Roberto Battiston told Sputnik.

    COLORADO SPRINGS (Sputnik) — Nespoli flew on the 15-day US Space Shuttle mission in October 2007 and on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft for a successful six-month mission on the International Space Station from December 2010 to May 2011.

    "Paolo Naspoli [will be] on the launch in a Soyuz next year," Battiston said on Tuesday in an interview at the Space Symposium held at Colorado Springs. "This is the most important short term project [in space cooperation between Russia and Italy]."

    Nespoli is now scheduled to be a team member on Expedition 52/53, which is due to be launched next year.

    Battiston is the chair of General Physics at the University of Trento and is a member of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the governmental committee advising Italy’s Minister of Research.

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