Cristoforetti to be ISS head, 1st European woman commander

On space station expedition next year

(ANSA) - ROME, MAY 28 - Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti will be the first European woman to command the International Space Station (ISS), and the third woman in the world after two Americans, during Expedition 68 which will see the ISS in orbit in 2022, the European Space Agency said Friday.
    Cristoforetti said "returning to the International Space Station is an honour in itself. I am honoured by my appointment to the post of commander and I look forward to using the experience I have acquired in space and on the Earth to lead a very competent team in orbit." Equal Opportunities Minister Elena Bonetti said "from a woman another road opened in science, another start for Italy.
    Congratulations Samantha!" Cristoforetti, 44, holds the record for the longest uninterrupted spaceflight by a European astronaut (199 days, 16 hours), and until June 2017 held the record for the longest single space flight by a woman until this was broken by Peggy Whitson and later by Christina Koch, both Americans.
    She is also the first Italian woman in space.
    She is very popular in Italy, where she is nicknamed 'AstroSamantha' or 'AstroSam'. (ANSA).
   

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