samantha cristoforetti

Samantha Cristoforetti for The National Geographic.

The Italian astronaut holds the record for the second longest uninterrupted spaceflight by a woman, having spent 199 days on the International Space Station in 2015. (NASA’s Peggy Whitson topped that record by almost a hundred days in 2017.)
The longer she was in orbit, Cristoforetti says, the more her perception of humanity’s time on Earth evolved. When the massive geologic forces that have sculpted the planet are visible at a glance, the eons in which we crafted pyramids and skyscrapers become nearly indistinguishable. It’s as if, from her vantage point, all our constructed monuments arose overnight.

“You’ve got this planet beneath you, and a lot of what you see, especially during the day, does not necessarily point to a human presence. If you look at it on a geologic timescale, it’s almost like we are this flimsy presence, and we really have to stick together as a human family to make sure we are a permanent presence on this planet and not just this blink of an eye.”

Coffee in Space: Keeping Crew Members Grounded in Flight

Happy National Coffee Day, coffee lovers! 

On Earth, a double shot mocha latte with soymilk, low-fat whip and a caramel drizzle is just about as complicated as a cup of coffee gets. Aboard the International Space Station, however, even just a simple cup of black coffee presents obstacles for crew members.

Understanding how fluids behave in microgravity is crucial to bringing the joys of the coffee bean to the orbiting laboratory. Astronaut Don Pettit crafted a DIY space cup using a folded piece of overhead transparency film. Surface tension keeps the scalding liquid inside the cup, and the shape wicks the liquid up the sides of the device into the drinker’s mouth.

The Capillary Beverage investigation explored the process of drinking from specially designed containers that use fluid dynamics to mimic the effect of gravity. While fun, this study could provide information useful to engineers who design fuel tanks for commercial satellites!

The capillary beverage cup allows astronauts to drink much like they would on Earth. Rather than drinking from a shiny bag and straw, the cup allows the crew member to enjoy the aroma of the beverage they’re consuming.

On Earth, liquid is held in the cup by gravity. In microgravity, surface tension keeps the liquid stable in the container.

The ISSpresso machine brought the comforts of freshly-brewed coffees and teas to the space station. European astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti enjoyed the first cup of espresso brewed using the ISSpresso machine during Expedition 43.

Now, during Expedition 53, European astronaut Paolo Nespoli enjoys the same comforts. 

Astronaut Kjell Lindgren celebrated National Coffee Day during Expedition 45 by brewing the first cup of hand brewed coffee in space.

We have a latte going on over on our Snapchat account, so give us a follow to stay up to date! Also be sure to follow @ISS_Research on Twitter for your daily dose of space station science.

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space:

Samantha Cristoforetti (b. 1977) is an astronaut working for the European Space Agency, the first Italian woman in space. She also holds the record for the longest single space flight by a woman, and for the longest uninterrupted space flight by any European astronaut.

She is also a pilot and an engineer, graduating from the Technical University of Munich. She is one of the first women lieutenants and fighter pilots in the Italian Air Force. Another claim to fame is being the first person to brew an espresso coffee in space.



As if it weren’t already enough to become the first Italian woman to travel in space, astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti went ahead and set the record for the longest single space flight by a woman, clocking in with 199 days and 16 hours on Expedition 42/Expedition 43 of the International Space Station in 2014-2015… And as if that still weren’t enough, she also became the first person to brew espresso in space.

Like several other astronauts before her, Cristoforetti has a documented love for science fiction, having openly expressed her fandom with references to Star Trek and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Keep reading


“Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti. She is an Italian European Space Agency astronaut, Italian Air Force pilot and engineer. She holds the records for longest single space flight by a woman (199 days 16 hours) and for the longest uninterrupted spaceflight of a European astronaut. She is also the first Italian woman in space. Samantha Cristoforetti is also known as the first person who brewed an espresso coffee in space, she posted a picture of herself on Twitter wearing a Starfleet uniform, with the comment “‘There’s coffee in that nebula’… ehm, I mean… in that #Dragon” (referencing Captain Janeway from Star Trek: Voyager, and her love of coffee), and again with the first cup of coffee brewed on the ISS. Cristoforetti has expressed her Star Trek fandom before — she tweeted a photo of herself giving the Vulcan salute shortly after Leonard Nimoy passed away on Feb. 6″


Vacuum chamber by Samantha Cristoforetti

<br /><i>Via Flickr:</i>
<br />Testing my own Sokol space suit in vacuum..

Photo: Yuri P. Kargapolov


Space snack time with Samantha Cristoforetti

Super Typhoon Maysak on March 31, 2015, captured in this image by ESA Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti while flying over the weather system on board the International Space Station.


Copyright: ESA–S. Corvaja, 2015

ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti and crewmates landed safely in the Kazakh steppe after a three-hour ride in their Soyuz spacecraft 11 June 2015. They left the International Space Station at 10:20 GMT at the end of their six-month stay on the research complex.

Soyuz TMA-15M braked from the Station’s cruising speed of almost 28 800 km/h and entered the atmosphere shortly afterwards. The small descent module separated as planned and parachutes deployed to slow the vehicle down even more.

The module fired retrorockets moments before landing and springs in the moulded seats reduced the impact of hitting the steppe at 13:44 GMT. Teams were on hand within minutes to help them out.

NASA and Star Trek

Star Trek debuted in September 1966 and in its various incarnations, the series has been an inspiration to many, even some of us at NASA. The series allowed its fans to explore “strange new worlds” and to dream of what could be right in their living rooms. To celebrate the show’s 50th anniversary, we’ve collected some Trek-themed photos featuring Star Trek cast members and NASA astronauts. 

Serious Business

The STS-54 crew of the space shuttle Endeavour in their official “gag” photo are costumed as the bridge crew of the Enterprise as depicted in the movie “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.” The photo was taken on the Star Trek Adventure set of the Universal Studios California theme park in Los Angeles, California, while the crew was on a west coast training and public relations tour during the Summer of 1992. From left to right: 

  • Greg Harbaugh (Mission Specialist/Engineering Officer)
  • Mario "Spock” Runco Jr. (Mission Specialist/1st Officer/Science Officer) 
  • John Casper (Commander/Captain) 
  • Susan Helms (Mission Specialist/Communications Officer) 
  • Don McMonagle (Pilot/Navigation-Helm Officer) 

“I have been, and always shall be, your friend”

Astronaut John Creighton shows the on board Graphical Retrieval Information Display (GRID) computer, which displays a likeness of Mr. Spock aboard STS-051G, June 18, 1985.

“A Keyboard… How Quaint”

Actor James Doohan (who played engineering genius Montgomery Scott in Star Trek) sits in the commanders seat of the Full Fuselage Trainer while astronaut Mario Runco explains the control panel during a tour of Johnson Space Center on Jan. 18, 1991. 

“You Wanted Excitement, How’s Your Adrenaline?”

Actress Nichelle Nichols (Uhura in Star Trek) toured Johnson Space Center in Houston on March 4, 1977, while Apollo 12 lunar module pilot and Skylab II commander Alan Bean showed her what it felt like inside the Lower Body Negative Pressure Device and showed her how the Shuttle Procedures Simulator operated. 

Nichols paid us another visit in 2012 and 2015 with the Space Traveling Museum. 

Infinite Diversity, Infinite Combinations

European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti gave the Vulcan salute aboard the International Space Station shortly after the passing of Leonard Nimoy on Feb. 28, 2015. She commented on Tweeter: “ ‘Of all the souls I have encountered.. his was the most human.’ Thx @TheRealNimoy for bringing Spock to life for us”

Live Long And Prosper

While visiting Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX, George Takei (Hikaru Sulu on the original series) had the chance to exchange Vulcan salutes with Robonaut on May 29, 2012. 

“Let’s See What’s Out There”

Scott Bakula, who played Captain Jonathan Archer on Star Trek: Enterprise, stands with astronauts Terry Virts and Mike Fincke on set. The two astronauts made guest appearances on the series finale episode “These Are The Voyages …” March 2005.

Boldly Going For Real

Above is the crew of STS-134, the next to last shuttle mission, in their version of the 2009 Star Trek movie poster. 

The crew of Expedition 21 aboard the International Space Station also made a Trek-themed poster in 2009, wearing uniforms from Star Trek: The Next Generation with the Enterprise NX-01 silhouette in the background.

Learn more about Star Trek and NASA.

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: 

for once, remember us italians because of samantha cristoforetti instead of silvio berlusconi or mafia or whatever

remember us as the country who’s proud of the woman who’s captain of the italian air force

and before she was captain, samantha was one of the first women to be a lieutenant and fighter pilot in the Italian Air Force

and you know what, now she’s the first fucking italian woman astronaut

she’s the third woman astronaut in the fucking european space agency

samantha cristoforetti is fluent in five goddamn languages, that’s probably more than I’ll achieve in my whole life and I study languages okay

she was a little girl dreaming of the stars and now she’s taking pics of earth’s blue oceans from space

she’s in the ISS now, that’s the International Space Station, orbiting around Earth

the ISS serves as a microgravity and space environment research laboratory in which crew members conduct experiments in biology, human biology, physics, astronomy, meteorology

and it is suited for the testing of spacecraft systems and equipment required for missions to the Moon and Mars

and she’s up there and she’s taking part is these experiments and she’s achieving her dream and she’s an italian woman and as an italian woman who loves space from the bottom of her heart i am proud

tumblr’s always talking about feminism, well, talk about her, praise her