18.10.2019 Merano Dialogues with Maurizio Cheli: Stories from space

As part of the “Merano Dialogues”, Maurizio Cheli gives an insight into his eventful life as an astronaut, test pilot, mountaineer and entrepreneur in conversation with journalist Federico Guiglia. The first Italian to take on the role of “Mission Specialist” on board the Space Shuttle Columbia in 19996 succeeds in telling the story of the great challenge of our time: The Reach for Space.

Where will the first space tourists fly to? From which resources of other celestial bodies will the Earth benefit in the future? Federico Guiglia will talk to astronaut Maurizio Cheli about such questions and about the great challenge posed by space on Friday, 18 October at 8 pm. The eighth meeting of the new series of events “Dialogues Merano” will take place at the Academy of German-Italian Studies Merano in Innerhoferstrasse, just behind the Palace Hotel.

Cheli became the first Italian to become a “mission specialist” on board the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1996 after a rigorous selection process and years of intensive training. He was the first non-American to be selected for NASA’s Specialisation Course to become a professional astronaut and is one of the pioneers of space missions.

Born in Modena, 60-year-old Cheli is an aerospace engineer, officer and pilot and part of the extraordinary Italian tradition and “school” in space. After the recent missions of Astro-Samantha and Paolo Nespoli, Luca Parmitano is now the first Italian astronaut to head the International Space Station.

Maurizio Cheli was also responsible for the operational development of the European Eurofighter Typhoon interceptor. Last year, he took part in an expedition that climbed Everest, the roof of the world, in May. “Ever since I photographed Everest above the planet in the Space Shuttle Columbia, I wanted to reach that summit,” he says. “I wanted to look at the world from the opposite perspective than the one that saw me at that moment just a few centimetres away from the void in space.”

In the interview with Federico Guiglia, astronaut Cheli will also present his book Tutto in un istante.

  • Title: Dialogues Merano: “E quindi uscimmo a riveder le stelle…”. Maurizio Cheli in conversation with Federico Guiglia
  • Organiser: Academy of Merano, EUPHUR (Euregio Platform for Human Rights and Dignity)
  • Date: 18.10.2019, 8.00 p.m.
  • Language: Italian
  • Admission: free of charge
  • Venue: Academy of Merano, Innerhoferstr. 1, 39012 Merano