The International Space Station (ISS) will receive next year its first female commander, the Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti. The Milanese is ESA´s third female astronaut and the first Italian female astronaut.
Samantha will become commander of the “68 Expedition”, whose launch is planned for 2022 departing from Florida, United States. This will be the second space mission of the astronaut, who was selected in 2009 with other 5 astronauts, among over 8.000 Europeans, to be part of the Space European Agency.
As part of her responsibilities, Samantha will make decisions and define roles for the crew she will be in charge of, which will be integrated by other two NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren and Bob Hines. The team will depart from the station in a Space X Crew Dragon spaceship.
The ESA Managing Director, Josef Aschbacher, said about it: “I am looking forward to meet the selected crew and I take this opportunity to encourage women to continue applying”.