Biographies of International Astronauts




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Personal data

Birthdate:  04.05.1959
Birthplace:  Modena
Marital status:  married
Selection date:  15.05.1992
Selection group:  ESA-2
Position:  MSP
Status:  Ret. 30.06.1996


No. Mission Position Time Duration
1  STS-75 Columbia  MS  22.02. - 09.03.1996 15d 17h 40m 
Total  15d 17h 40m 

Additional information

He received a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Sciences from the Italian Air Force Academy in 1982. Graduated from the Italian Air Force War College in 1987 and from the Empire Test Pilot School in 1988. Received a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Houston in 1994, a Master of Science “Magna cum Laude” in Political Science from the University of Torino, Italy in 2004 and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from ESCP-EAP, Paris, France in 2007.
After graduation from the Italian Air Force Academy, Maurizio Cheli underwent pilot training at Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma, in 1982-1983. Following fighter lead-in training at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico and initial training in the F-104G in Italy, he joined the 28th Squadron, 3rd Recce Wing in 1984. In 1987, he attended the Italian Air Force War College and in 1988 he graduated from the Empire Test Pilot's School, Boscombe Down, United Kingdom. While assigned to the Italian Air Force Flight Test Center in Pratica di Mare, Rome, he served as a Tornado and B-707 Tanker project pilot on a variety of test programs and as display pilot. His flight experience includes more than 4500 flying hours in over 50 different types of fixed wing aircraft and helicopters.
In June 1992, he was selected by ESA as a member of the second group of European astronauts. Maurizio Cheli reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1992. He completed one year of training in August 1993, and was qualified for assignment as a mission specialist on future Space Shuttle flight crews. His technical assignments included: flight software verification in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL); remote manipulator system/robotics; crew equipment.
From August 1996, Maurizio Cheli became Chief Test Pilot of Alenia Aeronautica in Torino, Italy, and as such worked extensively on the development programme of the Eurofighter Typhoon and on all the other programmes in which the company was involved including the development of UAV’s. He has been display pilot for the Eurofighter Typhoon at the Paris Airshow in 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2005 and at several other international events.
In December 2007, Maurizio Cheli became Director of Operational Development at Alenia Aeronautica. While assigned to this job he still flies on all development programmes of the company.
He enjoys soccer, cycling, tennis and travelling.


Last update on August 25, 2018.