Samantha Cristoforetti, 45-year-old Italian astronaut, will soon be commander of the International Space Station, the international research laboratory orbiting the earth. She will be the first European woman to take on this role. An official ceremony will be held on September 28 with the handing over of the title to her predecessor Oleg Artemyev. It will be broadcast live on the European Space Agency channels.
Cristoforetti, also known as AstroSamantha on social media, has become a popular socialite in the country in recent years. Part of her success in public opinion is also thanks to her active presence on social media, where she shares photos and videos intended to educate and engage the public, and especially young generations, about the station’s activities and life in space. The mission she is currently involved in is her second aboard the ISS. The mission, named Minerva, is scheduled to last 6 months between April and October 2022. She is named after the Roman goddess of wisdom and protector of craftsmen, in homage to the people who have made human-participating space exploration possible over the past few decades.
In her new role as station commander, Cristoforetti will be responsible for the work of the crews who will work on the station, where several scientific experiments that take advantage of weightlessness will be carried out.
But who is AstroSamantha and how did she become the first European woman to command the ISS?
Cristoforetti was born in Milan in 1977 but grew up in a small village in the Alps called Malè. After graduating from a science-oriented high school, she studied mechanical engineering in Munich and then attended the Italian Air Force Academy (Accademia Aeronautica) in the Naples area. Between 2005 and 2006 she qualified as a war pilot and was then appointed Captain in the Italian Air Force. She left this institution at the end of 2019. Her military background in the Air Force was essential in her training as an astronaut. She was selected by the European Space Agency in 2009 and took part in her first space mission five years later.
When she embarked on her first mission in 2014, Cristoforetti became the first Italian woman to go into space and the seventh Italian woman astronaut in the history of space exploration. In total, Cristoforetti’s first mission lasted 200 days between November 2014 and June 2015. In 2021, the European Space Agency, the institution Cristoforetti works for, announced that it would be participating in a new mission this year. On April 27, 2022 she left Earth again.
When she’s in space, Cristoforetti continues to actively curate her social media profiles Twitter and TikTok, where she shares photos and video footage from the International Space Station. She shares different types of content, from explaining how the space station works to hers Characteristics and be physicswhat life in space looks like, from meals to bedtime, from exercising to washing your hair to taking photos.
In addition, the images she shares of impressive natural phenomena are numerous Northern lights too massive storms. She also pays particular attention to the effects of climate change on the landscapes she sees. More generally, if you follow it, you can get stunning views of Earth and space in general. Samantha Cristoforetti also wrote a book, Diary of an astronaut apprentice (2018).