Samantha Cristoforetti is officially commander of the International Space Station

As it had already been announced just before mid-September, today (at 3:35 pm Italian time) theItalian astronaut and European Samantha Cristoforetti was officially awarded the office of commander of the International Space Station by fellow cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev, who will return to Earth shortly. A historic moment for Italy and obviously a great emotion for the Italian astronaut.

L’ESA astronaut he was already commander of the US orbital segment (USOS) but now, even if for a few days, he will be commander of the whole ISS. An important role as, as explained in the past, it is a question of keeping the morale of the crew high, allowing communications between the various members and the controllers and finally managing any emergency situations. Furthermore, taking place at a time of crew replacement, the Cristoforetti will have to do the “handover”.

Samantha Cristoforetti commander of the ISS

The astronaut, in July 2022, had made his first “space walk” (extravehicular activity or EVA) to operate the European robotic arm ERA and perform other operations outside the Russian module. It was the first EVA of a European female astronaut and therefore a further first for the Cristoforetti.

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Recognition as commander from Samantha Cristoforetti comes after an earlier announcement in March 2022 that it had “ice cream” the spirits contradicting what was declared instead at the end of May 2021, thus re-establishing the sequence of events (albeit with different timing). A result celebrated by both ESA (European space agency) which gives ASI (Italian space agency).

The three Russian cosmonauts (Oleg Artemyev, Denis Matveev and Sergey Korsakov) will leave the International Space Station around 9:30 tomorrow morning aboard the Soyuz capsule of the MS-21 mission. As written, the traditional ceremony of the change of command of the ISS where is it Samantha Cristoforetti he received the keys to the space station (symbolic) and a cake in the form of dough in a tube. Previously, European astronauts Frank De Winne, Alexander Gerst, Luca Parmitano and Thomas Pesquet (and therefore, as written, no women) had been entrusted with the role of commander.

samantha cristoforetti commander

Regarding the duration of the mandate of theItalian astronautwe currently know that Crew-5 will be launched no earlier than October 4th with a backup date of October 5th. The delays were caused by Hurricane Ian hitting Florida. However, it is not excluded that the launch may be further postponed. The Crew-4 mission, where there is Samantha Cristoforetti will not leave ISS earlier than five days after Crew-5’s arrival (and the date will be decided later) thus leaving her the role of commander for approximately 12 days.

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