Samantha Cristoforetti

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Samantha Cristoforetti
Samantha Cristoforetti portrait.jpg
ASI/ESA Astronaut
Nationality Italian
Status Active
Born (1977-04-26) April 26, 1977 (age 38)
Milan, MI, Italy
Current occupation
Rank Captain in Italian Air Force
Time in space
Currently in space
Selection 2009 ESA Group
Missions Soyuz TMA-15M (Expedition 42)
Mission insignia
Soyuz-TMA-15M-Mission-Patch.png ISS Expedition 42 Patch.png

Samantha Cristoforetti (Italian pronunciation: [saˈmanta kristofoˈretti]; born April 26, 1977 in Milan, Italy) is an Italian European Space Agency astronaut, Italian Air Force pilot and engineer. She is the first Italian woman in space.

On November 23, 2014, Soyuz TMA-15M carrying Cristoforetti and two other astronauts launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. It successfully docked at the International Space Station roughly six hours later.[1]


Cristoforetti was born in Milan in 1977. She spent her childhood in Malè, in Val di Sole, Trentino, Italy. When she was 18, she took a US foreign exchange program and attended Space Camp.[2] She studied in Bolzano and Trento and graduated from the Technical University of Munich with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. She studied at the École nationale supérieure de l'aéronautique et de l'espace in Toulouse, France, and at the Mendeleev Russian University of Chemistry and Technology in Moscow, Russia.

She also graduated in Aeronautics Sciences at the Italian Accademia Aeronautica in Pozzuoli, becoming one of the first women to be a lieutenant and fighter pilot in the Italian Air Force. She is the second Space Camp alumnus in orbit.[3]

On July 3, 2012, the European Space Agency announced that Cristoforetti was set for a long-duration mission to the ISS in 2014.[4]

Cristoforetti is a polyglot, fluent in Italian, English, German, French and Russian.[5]


  1. ^ Associated Press. "Crew docks at International Space Station". USA Today. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 
  2. ^ "Space Camp Alumni Newsletter scnewsv1n1s3". Space and Rocket Center. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  3. ^ "Space Camp Alumni Newsletter scnewsv1n1s3". Space and Rocket Center. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  4. ^ "ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti set for Space Station in 2014". ESA website. July 3, 2012. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  5. ^ Samantha Cristoforetti - Futura Mission. European Space Agency, 2014.

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