Q&A with ESA Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti

Friday, May 26

14:45 - 15:15

Samantha Cristoforetti is joining us remotely for a Q&A session where you can learn more about her career, life, and what inspired her to become the person we all know and love.

The session will be streamed online and can be watched for free online on our site!

participant photo

Samantha Cristoforetti

Samantha Cristoforetti, born in Milan on April 26, 1977, is an avid reader with a passion for science and technology, and an equal interest in humanities.

Samantha was selected as an ESA astronaut in May 2009 and joined ESA in September 2009, completing her basic astronaut training in November 2010. In March 2012, Samantha was assigned to fly as a flight engineer on the Soyuz TMA-15M as part of the crew of Expedition 42/43 marking her first mission to the International Space Station.

In 2019, Samantha served as commander for NASA’s 23rd Extreme Environment Mission Operations mission during a 10-day stay in the world’s only undersea research station, Aquarius.

On 27 April 2022, Samantha returned to the International Space Station for her second mission, Minerva, where for both flights to and from the Station, Samantha was serving as a mission specialist. On Station, she was USOS Lead, responsible for all activities within the US Orbital Segment for the duration of her mission. This segment includes the US, European, Japanese and Canadian modules and components of the Space Station. During her time on board, Samantha supported numerous European and international experiments in orbit and also carried out her first spacewalk, the first conducted by a European woman, and became the fifth European and the first European female commander of the International Space Station during her mission. She landed safely back on Earth on 14 October 2022.

When not travelling for work, Samantha lives with her partner and their children, near ESA’s Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany.