Samantha Cristoforetti, Italian astronaut

Samantha Cristoforetti, Italian astronaut

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Caption: Samantha Cristoforetti (born 1977), Italian European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut. Cristoforetti graduated with a master's degree in mechanical engineering in 2001 and joined the Italian Air Force Academy, where she successfully trained to become a fighter pilot. She was selected to join ESA in 2009 and, on successfully completing astronaut basic training in November 2010, became the first Italian female astronaut. Cristoforetti is scheduled for a long-duration mission to the International Space Station in 2014.

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