Samantha Cristoforetti will be commander of the International Space Station: it’s official

Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency (ESA) will soon be commander of the International Space Station.

It makes it the same ESA. To pass the baton will be the Russian commander Oleg Artemyev and AstroSamantha will be the first European woman to have this role.

“I am honored by my appointment as commander,” said Samantha Critoforetti. “I can’t wait – he added – to draw on the experience I have acquired in space and on Earth to lead a very capable team in orbit”.

The handover, informs ESA, is scheduled for 28 September and the period in which Samantha Cristoforetti will be in command should be short, although at the moment there are no elements to make estimates.

To decide the role of commander of the Space Station are jointly all five ISS partners, namely the space agencies of the United States (NASA), Russia (Roscosmos), Europe (ESA), Japan (Jaxa) and Canada (CSA).

Since the beginning of the Minerva mission, last April, Samantha Cristoforetti has been in command of the western segment of the ISS, called the United States Orbital Segment (Usos), which includes the American, European, Japanese and Canadian parts of the Space Station.

When he assumes command of the entire ISS, including the Russian segment, AstroSamantha will become the fifth European astronaut to have this position and the second Italian, after Luca Parmitano. The other Europeans to have the lead were Frank De Winne, Alexander Gerst, and Thomas Pesquet.

As commander of the Space Station, AstroSamantha will be responsible for the performance and well-being of the crew in orbit, will be responsible for communicating with the control center on Earth and will have to coordinate the crew in case of any emergency situation. As Samantha Cristoforetti will take over for a short time, one of her duties will be to organize the complete handover to the next crew.

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