Samantha Cristoforetti, an astronaut is born

The career of European astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti unofficially told by a space enthusiast friend: recruitment, training, outreach activities and space flights

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  1. Who's this story about?

    Samantha Cristoforetti is an European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut of Italian nationality. She will become the first Italian woman to fly into space.
    Before joining ESA she was a fighter pilot in the Italian Air Force.

  2. Who tells the story?
    I'm Paolo Amoroso, an Italian astronomy, space and science educator. And a space enthusiast. 

    I could only read about how astronauts train and go to space. Until now. I guess sooner or later Samantha will have to face my eventual question: what is space really like?
  3. In spring 2008 ESA announced it was going to recruit a new group of astronauts. Samantha applied, together with over 8,400 candidates, about 1,400 of whom women, from 17 countries. She had been dreaming of becoming an astronaut since she was a child.
  4. On May 20, 2009, at its Paris headquarters, ESA announced and introduced to the media the 6 individuals selected to become the next generation of European astronauts. Samantha was among them.
  5. Samantha addressed the audience gathered at the May 20, 2009 announcement event in Paris.
  6. New ESA Astronaut: Samantha Cristoforetti
  7. I also announced the good news, telling how I had come to know Samantha a few years earlier and followed her ESA selection process.
  8. In early september 2009, Samantha and her colleagues reported to the ESA European Astronaut Centre (EAC) in Cologne, Germany, for basic training as AsCans, i.e. Astronaut Candidates.
  9. At an early September 2009 public outreach event in Cologne she first publicly wore the ESA astronaut blue uniform.
  10. Twitpic - Share photos and videos on Twitter
  11. Twitpic - Share photos and videos on Twitter
  12. The selection of Samantha as a new astronaut generated excitement and interest not just in her home country, Italy. German girl Laurel010203, for example, created a musical video featuring Samantha.
  13. Samantha Cristoforetti, Poison
  14. During basic training AsCans go back to school for learning about medicine, electronics, robotics, rocket science and many other topics they will need for their activities in space.
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