And now we have six people in space again — including the first-ever Italian woman to reach orbit. Samantha Cristoforetti has been delighting people worldwide with her behind-the-scenes training posts as she prepares for her “Futura” mission, which will see her spend 5.5 months on the International Space Station with her crewmates. We have the NASA video from the big day above, and some photos from the launch below.
Cristoforetti has been sharing Spotify playlists and amusing tweets with more than 131,000 Twitter followers, not to mention people on Flickr and Google Plus. Her sense of humor and eye for the unusual will make for a fun few months in orbit along with the rest of her crew, NASA’s Terry Virts and Russia’s Anton Shkaplerov.
Just had what was probably my longest shower ever. Good Russian wisdom to leave plenty of time for it on the schedule! #NoRushOnLaunchDay
— Sam Cristoforetti (@AstroSamantha) November 23, 2014
On station for their arrival last night was the second half of their crew: Barry Wilmore (NASA), Elena Serova (Russia) and Alexander Samoukutyaev (Russia). And in March 2015, a big event occurs: the first one-year mission on the International Space Station will begin with the arrival of the next crew.
The launch took place at 4:01 p.m. EDT (9:01 p.m. UTC) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan aboard a Soyuz rocket.
— NASA Astronauts (@NASA_Astronauts) November 23, 2014
— ESA (@esa) November 23, 2014