[Umberto Guidoni] [NASA Logo]
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058

Biographical Data

NAME: Umberto Guidoni (Ph.D.)
ESA Astronaut

Born August 18, 1954, in Rome, Italy. Married to Mariarita Bartolacci of Milan, Italy. They have one child named Luca. His parents, Pietro Guidoni and Giuseppina Cocco-Guidoni, reside in Rome, Italy.

Graduated from Classic Lyceum "Gaio Lucilio" in Rome, Italy, in 1973; received his B.S. degree in physics and Ph.D. in Astrophysics (Summa Cum Laude) from University of Rome in 1978.

Member of the Italian Space Society (ISS).

Received a National Committee for Nuclear Energy (CNEN) Post-Doctoral Fellowship (1979-80) in the thermonuclear fusion field. Dr. Guidoni was awarded the NASA Space Flight Medal in 1996.

Reserve Officer of the Italian Air Force.

In 1983, as a staff scientist in the Solar Energy Division of the National Committee for Renewable Energy (ENEA), Dr. Guidoni was responsible for developing new techniques to characterize solar panels.

In 1984, he became a permanent researcher of the Space Physics Institute (IFSI-CNR) and was involved as co-investigator in the Research on Electrodynamic Tether Effects (RETE) experiment, one of the payloads selected for the Tethered Satellite System (TSS-1).

From 1985 to 1988 he supervised the design and testing of the RETE experiment. He also collaborated to the realization of a plasma chamber at IFSI, for laboratory simulations of electrodynamics tether phenomena and for characterization of plasma contactors in ionospheric environment. In 1988, Dr. Guidoni was appointed Project Scientist of RETE. In this capacity he was responsible for the integration of the experiment with the Tethered Satellite System.

In 1989, he was selected by the Italian Space Agency (ASI) to be one of the two Italian scientists to be trained as payload specialists for the TSS-1 mission. In 1990 he joined ASI and started the training as Alternate Payload Specialist (APS) for the STS-46/TSS-1 mission. For the duration of the flight (July 31 to August 8, 1992) he assisted the Science Team for on-orbit operations at the Payload Operations Control Center (POCC) at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

In 1994, he was assigned to serve as a payload specialist on the crew of STS-75/TSS-1R. Selected by ASI to attend NASA Astronaut Candidate Training, Dr. Guidoni reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1996. Having completed two years of training and evaluation, he is qualified for flight assignment as a mission specialist.

In August 1998, Dr. Guidoni joined the Astronaut Corps of the European Space Agency (ESA) based at the European Astronauts Center (EAC) in Cologne, Germany.

Currently, Dr. Guidoni is assigned technical duties in the Astronaut Office Robotics Branch.

Dr. Guidoni made his first flight as Payload Specialist on STS-75 (February 22 to March 9, 1996) on the Shuttle Columbia. This was a 16-day mission whose principal payloads were the reflight of the Tethered Satellite System (TSS) and the third flight of the United States Microgravity Payload (USMP-3). The TSS successfully demonstrated the ability of tethers to produce electricity. The TSS experiment produced a wealth of new information on the electrodynamics of tethers and plasma physics before the tether broke at 19.7 km, just shy of the 20.7 km goal. The crew also worked around the clock performing combustion experiments and research related to USMP-3 microgravity investigations. The mission was completed in 252 orbits covering 6.5 million miles in 377 hours and 40 minutes.


Click here to return to the SPACE EDUCATORS' HANDBOOK HOME PAGE.