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Drexel Astronaut Paul Richards Joins Italian Astronaut Roberto Vittori To Celebrate 50th Anniversary of American-Italian Technology Collaboration

March 21, 2013

The Consulate General of Italy and  Drexel Engineering celebrated 50 years of close technological and scientific collaboration in the space and aerospace industries between Italy and the United States on March 20 in the Mitchell Auditorium on the occasion of the Year of Italian Culture in the United States. The panel discussion titled, “Flying High: From Helicopters to Space” included topics on recent international aerospace technology, current projects at AgustaWestland and how students today can become the astronauts of tomorrow.

Speakers included astronauts Roberto Vittori of the Italian Space Agency and Drexel alumnus Paul W. Richards of NASA who shared their professional journeys with professors, researchers and students, discussing possible career opportunities in the space and aerospace fields. Mario Cosmo, Technical Director of the Italian Space Agency also took part to the panel and William Hunt, CEO of AgustaWestland Philadelphia, opened the conference with a keynote speech. Alicia Vitarelli, an Anchor for 6abc (WPVI) Action News, served as the moderator.

At the conclusion of the discussion, students and guests were allotted time to ask the panel questions and Paul W. Richards presented the Consul General of Italy, Luigi Scotto, with a space badge symbolizing the technological partnership between Italy and the United States.

To view the NASA photo archive to get a view through the eyes of an astronaut, click here. For more information on AgustaWestland, please visit the official website. To view Drexel's photos of the event, please click here.