“The most astonishing moment of this mission occurred during re-entry to Earth. As I stood up, I immediately noticed the gravity feeling much heavier than I had remembered. Despite only spending three weeks in space, which isn’t a significantly long period to lose physical fitness, the sensation was a testament to how our brains perceive the surrounding environment. It’s an aspect that proves challenging to simulate during training sessions. However, upon my return, I swiftly reacclimatized, feeling grounded and immensely pleased to be back home in Rome with the Air Force.

On the other hand, the most enchanting moment was undoubtedly when we flew over Italy during our mission. Witnessing it for the first time at night stirred powerful emotions within me.”

Colonel Walter Villadei, reflecting on his experiences from the Ax-3 Voluntas mission, shared his profound emotions during an event organized by the Italian Air Force and the Italian Space Agency. “Training prepares us for what to expect, yet it doesn’t eliminate the element of surprise,” Villadei explained. “Despite this, the journey was filled with an array of entirely new and exhilarating experiences. The thrill of looking out from the cupola and traversing Italy from North to South in just 6 minutes, witnessing its beauty from space, was truly remarkable.”

Villadei further disclosed his upcoming departure for Houston, where he will engage in collaborative activities with Axiom and the USA, furthering efforts towards space exploration and cooperation.

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