BIRTHPLACE AND DATE: Rome, Italy, 18 August 1954.
EDUCATION: Umberto Guidoni graduated from Classic Liceum 'Gaio Lucilio' in Rome in 1973. He received a science degree in Physics and Doctorate in Astrophysics (Summa Cum Laude) from the University of Rome in 1978. He was then granted a post doctoral fellowship in plasma physics at the Thermonuclear Research Center of CNEN until 1980.
FAMILY: Married to Mariarita Bartolacci of Milan, Italy; one son. His parents, Mr. Pietro Guidoni and Giuseppina Cocco-Guidoni, reside in Rome, Italy.
RECREATIONAL INTERESTS: Swimming, volleyball, classical music.
ORGANIZATIONS: Member of the Italian Space Society (ISS).
MILITARY STATUS: Reserve Officer of the Italian Air Force.
EXPERIENCE: In 1982, Umberto Guidoni joined as a staff scientist the National Energy Committee and in 1983, he worked in the Solar Energy Division of the National Committee for Renewable Energy (ENEA) where he developed new techniques to characterise solar panels.
In 1984, he became a permanent researcher of the Space Physics Institute (IFSI-CNR) and was 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 until 1988, Umberto Guidoni designed Ground Support Equipment (GSE) and supervised the design and testing of the Data Processing Unit (DPU) for the RETE experiment. He also collaborated on the development of the IFSI plasma chamber for laboratory simulations of electrodynamic tether phenomena and characterisation of plasma contactors in ionospheric environment.
In 1988, he was appointed RETE Project Scientist, with responsibility for the integration of the experiment with the Tethered Satellite System (TSS).
In 1989, Umberto Guidoni joined the Astronaut Office of the Italian Space Agency (ASI) as one of two Italian scientists selected by ASI to be trained as payload specialist for the US Space Shuttle's TSS-1 mission. In 1991, he was relocated to the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, USA, to train for the TSS-1 flight on board the STS-46 mission. In 1992, having completed his training as Alternate Payload Specialist, he assisted the science team for on-orbit operations at the Payload Operations Control Center (POCC) for the duration of the STS-46/TSS-1 mission (31 July - 8 August 1992).
In 1995, he was selected for his first spaceflight as a payload specialist representing ASI on STS-75/TSS-1R. The 16-day mission, (22 February - 9 March 1996), featured the second deployment of the Tethered Satellite System. It successfully demonstrated the ability of tethers to produce electricity despite the tether breaking after reaching a distance of 19.7 kilometres from the Space Shuttle, just short of the 20.7 kilometre goal. Scientists were able to devise a programme of research making the most of the satellite's free flight while the astronauts' work centered on orbital investigations using the US Microgravity Payload.
Guidoni was a member of the 1996 Mission Specialist International Class at the NASA Johnson Space Centre. Having successfully completed the training, in April 1998, he worked in the Astronaut Office Robotics Branch for the Space Shuttle and International Space Station at NASA's Johnson Space Center.
In August 1998, Umberto Guidoni joined ESA's single European astronaut corps, the homebase of which is ESA's European Astronaut Centre located in Cologne, Germany.
SPECIAL HONOURS: NASA Space Flight Medal.
CURRENT ASSIGNMENT: In February 1999, Umberto Guidoni has been nominated for his second spaceflight, named STS-102, scheduled for April 2000 and will be the first European on board the International Space Station. During the mission, the US Space Shuttle will transport up to 10 tons of laboratory racks filled with equipment, experiments and supplies in specially-designed Multipurpose Logistics Module (MPLM) mounted in its cargo bay. That module, called Leonardo, is the first of three such carriers built by ASI, the Italian Space Agency under an ASI-NASA agreement.
Carried TSS-1R tether satellite; satellite tether broke during deployment, making TSS-1R an unintentional free flyer
Payloads: Tethered Satellite System (TSS) Reflight (1R); Orbital Acceleration Research Experiment (OARE) (part of United States Microgravity Payload 3); USMP-3; Commercial Protein Crystal Growth (CPCG) 09, Block IV; Middeck Glovebox Experiment (MGBX) (part of USMP-3). During the deployment of TSS, the tether broke and the satellite was lost.