Cristoforetti will no longer be the only active European astronaut in space


Italian Samantha Cristoforetti is the European Space Agency’s (ESA) only active astronaut, but to date the doors to space have been opened to two other women, French Sophie Adenot and British Rosemary Coogan.

She is among a meager list of European female astronauts. Prior to Cristoforetti, who graduated in 2009, only Frenchman Claudie Hagnere, already retired, had been able to travel in space.

ESA announced the names of its new career astronauts on Wednesday, five in total, two of them women, in addition to twelve alternatives including six women, a list that includes Sara Garcia Alonso from Leon.

ESA’s Director-General, Joseph Ashbacher, who attended the ceremony in which the new applicants were presented, was “proud”” That the new class of astronauts would have practical equality of the sexes and a diverse representation of member nations.

Coongan and Adenot, as well as substitutes García, Nicola Winter and Amelie Shoemnenwald (German); Carmen Posing (Austrian); Andrea Comellini (Italian) and Megane Crisitan (British) will be able to look in the mirror at Samantha Cristoforetti.

Milani, born in 1977 and an aerospace engineer, was the only woman in her promotion and had just returned a month earlier from her second six-month stay on the International Space Station to develop the Minerva mission; In 2019 and 200 days had already passed.

This has happened many times in her career as a European woman. In this, her second stay at the space laboratory, she is the first ESA commander, and in July she made her first space walk, which lasted seven hours.

During his recent stay in space, Cristoforetti launched himself as the first “Tiktoker”. to tell about his life and work on the ISS; She is now followed by over 800,000 people on that social network. Her image has even brought life to a Barbie astronaut doll.

Before him, the first European astronaut was the doctor and later the French politician and minister Hagnere, who completed his first mission into space called Cassiopeia in 1996, when the Russian space station Mir was still in service, where he conducted physiology experiments. and biology, among other works.

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His second mission, already as an ESA astronaut, was in 2001 under the name Andromeda, which he developed on the International Space Station.

After hanging up the diving suit, Hagnere spent time in French politics until becoming an advisor to the Director-General of ESA from 2015, where she was Minister of Science and Research (2002–2004) and Minister of European Affairs (2004–2005).


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