Last November, European Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti blasted off from to the International Space Station (ISS), making Samantha the 2nd Space Camp Alumni to fly in space!
Samantha was born in Milan, Italy on April 26, 1977 and developed a deep interest in science and space at an early age. When she was 18, she lived in Minnesota as a foreign exchange student and was able to attend Space Camp Level II; what’s now referred to as Advanced Space Academy.
Samantha would later go on to receive an education in mechanical engineering and aeronautical sciences; specializing in propulsion and structures. She went on to join the Italian Air Force and became a fighter pilot. She is currently ranked a Captain and has logged over 500 hours in six types of military aircraft.
In 2009, Samantha was selected to become an astronaut by the European Space Agency and in 2012 was assigned a mission to the ISS. On November 23rd, she blasted off in a Soyuz capsule from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan as a Flight Engineer of Expedition 42. Samantha will live and work at the ISS for six months, returning as part of Expedition 43.
In 2014, Samantha was inducted into the Space Camp Hall of Fame. As she was inducted, she said the following about the significance Space Camp had on her career, “Going to space camp when I was 18 years old took that dream I had as a child and made it even stronger in a way for the first time I could almost touch it, it became real. I am sure that it helped me just keep it alive and strong throughout the years until I had the chance to actually become an astronaut and prepare to fly to space.”
You can watch Samantha’s induction into the Space Camp Hall of Fame here:
If you’re following Samantha on Social Media be sure to send her a message! When sending to her and also when reposting be sure to use hashtag #AlumOnOrbit . You can follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/astrosamantha .
To find out more, visit http://rocketcenter.com/nextgiantleap