On Nov 23, 2014 ( Nov 24, local time) from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Italian Esa astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti lifts off on a journey to the International Space Station, which she reaches after six hours on board the spaceship Soyuz TMA-15M. Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, and Nasa astronaut Terry Virts are Cristoforetti ‘s crewmates. Her long duration mission called ‘Futura‘ is part of Expedition 42/43. The crew lives and conducts experiments in space for 200 days , and Cristoforetti sets the world record for longest, uninterrupted mission in space by a woman astronaut.
Cristoforetti gains a vast audience while aboard the ISS, and her popularity increases after her return from space. Her almost one-year-long post-flight tour sees her in Canada, U.S.A, North Africa, and Europe.
November 23, 2016 marks Cristoforetti ‘s second year from her first flight to space: congratulations on the anniversary for ‘AstroSamantha’.
Post header image background edit from original. All images credit: Samantha Cristoforetti/Asi/Esa/Nasa/Roscosmos.