Say Hello To Italy’s First Female Astronaut

No Italian woman had ever flown in space until last Sunday, when ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, a 37-year-old captain in the Italian Air Force, rocketed to the International Space Station last week, where she will remain until May 2015.

Shortly after arriving at the ISS, an exhilarated Cristoforetti told her family back on Earth that the launch had gone smoothly and that she had already been treated to some “spectacular views.”

“It’s even better than what I had dreamed,” she said.

Smooth probably isn’t the best word to describe a pre-launch press conference, during which Cristoforetti had to deflect a reporter’s silly question about whether she planned to use cosmetics in space.

“Maybe you should ask Terry,” she said at the time, referring to fellow astronaut Terry Virts. “Maybe he wants to take some makeup with him.”

Cristoforetti joined fellow female astronaut Elena Serova of Russia on the space station, marking the second time the ISS has had two women aboard on long-term missions. Serova fielded similar hair and makeup questions before her launch in September.

Plans call for Cristoforetti to conduct a series of experiments on the effects of microgravity on sleep and to brew up the <a target="_blank" —> Read More Here


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