Kazakhstan, Baikonur cosmodrome Nov 23, 2014 (Nov 24 UTC) the first Italian female astronaut, ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti lifts off on her journey to the International Space Station, which she reaches on board spaceship Soyuz TMA-15M with crew members Nasa astronaut Terry Virts and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov.
The extensive international coverage of the event, ISAA’s reports (Italian Space and Astronautics Association) and AstronautiCAST podcast inspire creativity. During the 200-day-mission Futura aboard the ISS and since back, Cristoforetti sparks enthusiasm for space, curiosity and desire to explore. Made with hand-drawn illustrations and watercolor artworks, edited footage of Asi, Esa, Roscosmos, Nasa and Cristoforetti’s wide-ranging outreach activity from the ISS Cupola module, a fan tribute to Cristoforetti’s first journey to space is brought into life.
Cristoforetti returned from space on June 2015. As Esa astronaut Cristoforetti is part of ESA’s working group that focuses on cooperating with the Chinese Space Agency (CNSA), which in 2017 for the first time welcomed two Esa astronauts, Cristoforetti and a collegue, for a joint training with Chinese taikonauts. At the European Space Agency (ESA) Cristoforetti currently cooperates in projects related to space exploration; among them is ‘Spaceship EAC Program‘, a project that evaluates and simulates the conditions for robotic and human flights in cislunar space, in preparation for future Moon exploration and settlements.