Besides “Wow” and “Awesome” what else would you say if you were flying over the earth in space? Samantha Cristoforetti, the first Italian woman astronaut in space, tweeted several lines of a famous ancient Chinese composition to share her joy.
She first wrote in Chinese and then included an accurate translation of the lines in Italian and English to help more people understand.
Samantha Cristoforetti / Twitter
“When I look up I see the immensity of the cosmos; tilting my head, I look at the diversity of the world. The gaze flies, the heart expands, the joy of the senses can reach its climax, and indeed, that is true happiness,” it said.
The text she quotes is from the preface to Poems Written in the Orchid Pavilion, a masterpiece of Chinese calligraphy by the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317-420) Chinese calligrapher Wang Xizhi (303-361).
She also attached three photos taken in space of China’s Bohai Bay and the day-night view of Beijing, the country’s capital.
Two days before she landed on Earth, the beauty of space and Chinese literature reverberated on her Twitter account. Her posts soon went viral on Twitter with thousands of retweets, likes, and replies.
The poem and the view are both great; If everyone could enjoy the same sight, a lot of pain in the world would be dissipated, commented one user.
A European astronaut in space reciting ancient Chinese poems, how romantic said another respondent.
As the first Italian female astronaut in space, Cristoforetti performed her first space mission on November 23, 2014. It launched the second mission in April and returned to Earth on Friday evening after a 127-day stay in orbit.
When not traveling for work, she is an avid reader and has a great passion for language learning.
“Samantha (Cristoforetti) is always looking to the future and is studying Chinese in her spare time,” the European Space Agency (ESA) said on its website.
Cristoforetti is now active in Chinese-European cooperation in the field of manned space flight. She was a member of a working group tasked with reaching out to Chinese colleagues to define and implement collaboration on astronaut operations. In 2017, she participated in a sea survival exercise organized by the Astronaut Center of China in the Yellow Sea, the first joint training of Chinese and foreign astronauts in China.
In 2015, China-Europe signed a Human Spaceflight Cooperation Agreement, which stipulates China’s and Europe’s participation in each other’s astronaut training activities. In clear Chinese, Cristoforetti once told the media that the teams from China and Europe work very well together in the field of astronaut training.
She joined the Italian Air Force in 2001 and had accumulated more than 500 hours of flying experience. In May 2009, Cristoforetti was selected as one of six out of 8,000 European applicants to join the ESA Astronaut Corps.