Samantha Cristoforetti Sets Record of Longest Time on Space Station by a Woman

The 200 days ISS mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut, Samantha Cristoforetti has set record of a female astronaut being on the International Space Station (ISS) for the longest continuous time than any other female astronaut.

With the record of exact 200 days on June 11 when Cristoforetti descends back to Earth, she will smash the previous record of Sunita Williams by five more days. Sunita Williams had set the record in 2007 when she spent 195 days at ISS.

The 200 days stay will also credit Cristoforetti with the longest single mission for an Italian astronaut and also longest for an ESA astronaut.

Cristoforetti is scheduled to return to earth early Thursday along with her colleague, Terry Virts and Soyuz commander, Anton Shkaplerov via the Soyuz rocket in a 3.5-hour journey.

Ironically, Cristoforetti owes her record to the unexpected delay caused to her mission because of Russia’s Progress 59 resupply spacecraft that failed to arrive at the ISS.

The stay at the orbiting laboratory has given Cristoforetti a life time experience, her photographs, videos and tweets say it all. Cristoforetti vividly describes her exhilarating experience when a Dragon space capsule brought supplies and an espresso machine to ISS.

Her Facebook page hosts incredible shots of her in a Star Trek uniform and also images of solar eclipse from ISS, along with the message,” It commands respect even from space”.

Cristoforetti even volunteered to get a haircut to demonstrate the tedious task of chopping hair in space using a vacuum system that sucks the hair up as soon as it is snipped or else it might clog up the air supply system!

Samantha Cristoforetti