New space mission for Italian astronaut Parmitano

38-year-old will return to ISS in next year

(ANSA) - Frascati, September 27 - Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano said Thursday that he will be returning to space next year for a new mission called 'Beyond'.
    The 38-year-old made the announcement at an event at the European Space Agency's (ESA) ESRIN facility at Frascati, near Rome. Parmitano's first mission Volare, which means 'to fly' in Italian, took place in 2013 and lasted 166 days, during which time Luca conducted two spacewalks and many experiments that are still running today. He will return to the International Space Station in 2019 as part of Expedition 60/61, alongside Andrew Morgan of NASA and Alexander Skvortsov of Roscosmos.
    "What we do in orbit is not just for the astronauts or for the International Space Station programme, it is for everybody," said Parmitano.
    "It is for Earth, it is for humankind, and it is the only path for us to learn what we need in terms of science and technology in order to go beyond". Parmitano will be Space Station commander during the second half of his mission - it will be the first time an Italian astronaut has held this role. "I see myself as a facilitator," he said.
    "My goal will be to put everybody in the condition to perform to the best of their capability."