Samantha Cristoforetti becomes the first European female astronaut to go into space

Samantha Cristoforetti becomes the first European female astronaut to go into space

This is the second stay in space for the 45-year-old Italian engineer and fighter pilot, who left for the ISS on April 27.

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One small step for her, one giant leap for Europe. Italian Samantha Cristoforetti made the first spacewalk by a European astronaut from the International Space Station (ISS) on Thursday, July 22, according to images broadcast by NASA. The spacewalk of this European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut, carried out at an altitude of more than 400 km, lasted six and a half hours in the company of Russian cosmonaut Oleg Artemiev.

They were in charge of carrying out several repairs, in particular on the Russian scientific module Nauka and on the new robotic arm ERA (European Robotic Arm). Launched into orbit in July 2021 after many delays, the ERA robotic arm was installed on the ISS a few months ago. 11 meters long, it can perform maintenance tasks and can be operated from inside or outside the station and even from an ESA station on the ground.

This is the second time in space for Samantha Cristoforetti, a 45-year-old engineer and fighter pilot, who left for the ISS on April 27. She holds the record for the longest space stay there for a woman on a mission, with a stay of 199 days in orbit, in 2014 and 2015. This time she should assume command of the station there, another first for a European astronaut. .

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