Space Idol, Samantha Cristoforetti

The first Italian woman in space, Samantha Cristoforetti is set to return to Earth today, June 11th, after a 200-day record-breaking stay in the International Space Station (ISS), as a part of the Futura mission. Like all astronauts, Sam is brilliantly skilled: With a background in mechanical engineering and aeronautical science, this extraordinary woman is also a Captain in the Italian Air Force, having graduated as a fighter pilot in 2005, and is fluent in Italian, French, Spanish, German, and Russian. An online icon, « Astro Samantha » has taken us Earthlings along on her journey, making science cool and accessible through her frequent posts on social media! DiscovHER has selected some of the best…

A bathroom tour, ISS style

Ever wondered what it’s like to shower and cut your nails in zero-gravity? Samantha shows us how such mundane activities are completely different in space, by taking us to her “hygiene corner”.

Clearly, Velcro is precious in space!


1st to wear the ‘Star Trek’ uniform in space

When they are not busy working, Samantha and the rest of the crew enjoy joking around. And seriously, what could possibly be more fun than dressing like a Star Trek Enterprise crew member in space? Behold the coolest Star Trek selfie ever!


It’s space snack time!

Many people ask what it’s like to eat in space. Since the first space travels, a lot has improved. Today, astronauts select their menus from a vast array of options, meant to supply them with the nutrients and vitamins they need. The food is prepared on Earth, and tasted by the astronauts before their journey at “Food Evaluation Sessions”, to make space eating as savory as possible! From dried strawberries to floating macadamia nuts, Sam’s food sure looks good!


Drinking the first ever Espresso coffee to be made in space, while wearing a Star Trek suit. What else?

As an Italian, it’s not surprising that Samantha was the first person to prepare an Espresso in space! This was possible thanks to the invention a zero-gravity Espresso machine, named ISSpresso, by Lavazza, in collaboration with the Italian aerospace company Argotec. Like any good Italian, Samantha knows the value of a nice coffee!


Workout time… in weightlessness

On Earth, we work out to avoid cardiovascular diseases, lose weight, release stress, and get toned. In Space, working out is even more important, since after spending weeks or months in a weightless environment, astronauts lose a significant amount of bone mineral density, resulting in weakened bones which are prone to fracturing when returning to Earth. Check out Samantha’s tour of the ISS’ “space gym” below!


#HelloEarth: Sharing breathtaking pictures of our planet

While travelling in space, Samantha stayed close to Earth. Through her daily posts on social media, her legions of followers and fans were able to appreciate the beauty of our planet, seeing it from a marvelous and beautiful point of view.


#ScienceIsCool!

During her Futura mission, Samantha Cristoforetti carried out experiments in weightlessness for scientists all over the world, and she was in charge of the maintenance of the weightless research center. Through her online “log book” and videos like the one below, Samantha clearly shows that #ScienceIsCool!


We wish you a safe trip back home @AstroSamantha!


Photo credit: Samantha Cristoforetti (CC BY-NC 2.0)

L’Oréal–UNESCO
For Women in Science

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