International Space Station astronaut, Luca Parmitano, was invited to jump on board Alitalia’s Boeing 777 full motion simulator in Rome before departing on his space journey.

Together with the airline’s director of flight operations, Captain Andrea Gori, the astronaut simulated a flight from Rome to Houston, where he currently lives.

The Italian astronaut lifted off the face of Planet Earth on July 20 with two Russian colleagues in command of mission Beyond. That day, the world celebrated the 50th anniversary of the man’ first landing on the moon.

“It is a wonderful coincidence to fly on this date, I don’t think there is a better way to celebrate this anniversary,” Parmitano said.

Captain Gori tells the astronaut as he flies the 777 simulator: “You are the first Italian commander of a space mission. A great privilege and a great responsibility.”

Parmitano replies: “You said it well, it’s both a privilege and a responsibility. It is a result that goes beyond the individual.”