26 Apr Happy Birthday Blog: Samantha Cristoforetti
Born: April 26, 1977
Known For: Italian Astronaut and 3rd European Woman in Space
After completing several science degrees as an undergraduate, Cristoforetti began to tackle glass ceilings. With degrees in mechanical engineering and aeronautical sciences, she joined the Italian Air Force. While in this position, she became one of the first women to be a lieutenant and a fighter pilot in the Italian Air Force.
Following her graduation from the Air Force, she completed the Euro-NATO Joint Jet training program in the USA. With this qualification she was asked to joined the European Space Agency as an astronaut in 2009. In 2012, on her first space flight, she became only the 3rd European woman in space.
During her time at the ESA, she has logged many space missions. In 2015, she set the record for the longest space flight in European history at 199, 16 hours. She continues to work on cross-cultural and cross-agency projects and most recently worked on the first training project to include Chinese and non-Chinese astronauts working in China.
For all her many and continued accomplishments, we wish Samantha a very happy birthday!
Learn more about her here.