Roman, born in 1974, a career of the highest level in the Air Force built by pursuing the dream of flying in space with dedication and passion. Colonel Walter Villadei’s professional career began in 1993 at the Pozzuoli Air Force Academy. Five years later he became the first space engineer of the Arma Azzurra, graduating from the Federico II University of Naples.
Assigned to the Operations Department of the 46th Air Brigade of Pisa, he deals with the efficiency and maintenance of aircraft and participates in various international missions. In 2008 he attended the cosmonaut course in Star City, near Moscow, something new for Italian astronauts. He specializes as an engineer on board the Soyuz shuttle, operator of the Russian segment of the International Space Station and of the Orlan extra-vehicular systems.
While waiting for a flight opportunity, he became a member of the Technical-Scientific Committee of the Italian Space Agency and national representative at the European Commission for the “Space Surveillance and Tracking Support Framework” initiative, a program which led to the first creation of a national capacity for Space Situational Awareness and Italy’s entry into the first European Consortium for space security.
In September 2021, thanks to an agreement between the Air Force and the private company Axiom Space, he began his training as a professional astronaut at NASA. Since March 2022 he has been in charge of the Air Force Representative Office in Houston. In 2023 he is assigned to the “Ax-3 Voluntas” mission to the International Space Station: it is the opportunity to go into orbit for the first time.