Cruising the skies as her ancestors did the Atlantic
What would Jules Verne or Emilio Salgari say if they had the chance of meeting Samantha Cristoforetti? With a BA in aeronautical sciences and a masters in mechanical engineering, this daughter of Milan, a pilot and astronaut is also an avid reader.
She has read Verne and Salgari works, became a Star Trek fan and by loving Douglas Adams’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, she was a key point in developing NASA’s poster for their 42/43 space mission, which was her first. She stayed for 199 days in orbit. And now she’s going back up into the skies again.
First European woman astronaut as Commander
The European Space Agency announced recently that this 44 years old former fighter pilot and the first Italian woman astronaut, will be the first European woman astronaut to take command of the International Space Station during her mission in 2022.
“[…] going back to ISS, my home away from home, has always remained my aspiration. I am honoured to be entrusted with a second space mission and look forward to representing again Europe in orbit, as we continue to pursue scientific discovery and technological excellence.”
ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher said that “Samantha is an excellent role model for anyone applying to ESA’s recently announced 2021/22 astronaut selection. I look forward to her continuing the essential work of European scientists in orbit as she inspires all Europeans to explore farther and reach higher for the benefit of Earth.”
So, from the beautiful Milan, trough Trentino and Naples, from the fantastic novels of Verne and Salgari to Star Trek and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe, through training and flying, form Soyuz TMA-15M (Expedition 42/43) to SpaceX Crew-4 (Expedition 67/68), Astrosamantha hold high the light of so many Italian women that dare to reach for their dreams, across the oceans, across the seas and now across the universe!
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