Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti (44) will become the first woman from Europe to take command of the International Space Station (ISS) next year. The European Space Agency (ESA) announced this Friday.
Cristoforetti will be launched into space in 2022 as a member of the NASA SpaceX Crew-4 mission alongside US astronauts Kjell Lindgren and Bob Hines. This will be her second mission to the International Space Station: she spent 199 days orbiting the Earth in 2014 and 2015.
On board the International Space Station, you will become captain as the first female astronaut of the European Space Agency. However, she will be responsible for the day-to-day missions and other astronauts on board.
Christoforetti becomes the fifth European Space Agency astronaut to command the International Space Station. NASA, the European Space Agency, the Russian, Japanese and Canadian space agencies Roscosmos, JAXA and the Canadian Space Agency will jointly determine who will be granted this role.
Belgian astronaut Frank de Winne became the first European Space Agency flight commander on the International Space Station in 2009. He was also the first captain without US or Russian citizenship. He is currently the president of the European Astronaut Center.