Watch live: media Q&A with Samantha Cristoforetti

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Science & Exploration


Currently in quarantine in the USA ahead of her launch to the International Space Station, Samantha will be joined virtually by ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher, ESA Director of Human and Robotic Exploration David Parker, Italy’s Minister for Technological Innovation and Digital Transition Vittorio Colao and President of the Italian Space Agency ASI Giorgio Saccoccia to talk about her second space mission, Minerva.

Crew-4 crew members

Samantha first flew to the International Space Station in 2014, where she spent almost 200 days living and working in orbit for an Italian Space Agency ASI-sponsored mission known as Futura.

Minerva will see her travel to the Station alongside NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Robert Hines and Jessica Watkins on a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA.

These astronauts are collectively known as Crew-4 and their spacecraft is called Freedom.

Samantha Cristoforetti with her Minerva mission patch

The targeted launch date for Crew-4 is no earlier than 21 April, with a backup date of 23 April.

Once on Station, Samantha will be USOS Lead, responsible for all activities within the US Orbital Segment for the duration of her mission. This segment includes the US, European, Japanese and Canadian modules and components of the Space Station.

She will also support numerous European and international experiments in orbit and is expected to have a short handover with ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer who is currently aboard the orbital outpost for his mission, Cosmic Kiss.

For more about Samantha and her Minerva mission, visit the Minerva mission page.

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