June 11, 2015 was a day of celebration. AstroSamantha was returning home to planet Earth. Up there Samantha Cristoforetti had become a star. In the 200 days aboard the International Space Station he had conquered the sympathies of the world, but in particular those of us Italians, in love with the deeds, even the simplest, like drinking a coffee with the first space coffee machine, of our first astronaut . In this the social networks had played a role, perhaps for the first time, also really decisive for space missions. AstroSamantha on Twitter had told her days with a style that is not emphatic but engaging. I don’t remember how many followers he had at the time, but now he travels close to a million.
Cristoforetti returned with the record for a woman on board the ISS, a record that came by chance. In fact she should have returned on May 14, after 170 days. Instead, everything had been postponed due to the failure of a cargo ship that crashed in the Pacific. This noted Samantha in her logbook of May 12: “ISS Space Outpost. Earth Orbit – Mission Day 170 (May 12, 2015) – Have you heard the news? Today Roscosmos, the Russian Space Agency, officially announced that our landing is postponed to the beginning of June, which means that … Terry, Anton and I can stay in space for a few more weeks! As I write these lines I just can’t believe that our original landing date was tomorrow, and this ‘now I would be about to get into my sleeping bag on the ISS for the last time. ” Instead, she stayed in space for another 29 nights, 16 sunrises and 16 sunsets a day, and then the “Futura” mission ended. In the Kazakh steppe, at 3.43 pm Italian time.
In his first press conference he said several things. On social popularity: “From the Space Station even sending a tweet is complicated, and what my impact on Earth was I’m only discovering now”. On the return home: “It was nice in the end to see Kazakhstan dressed in green waiting for us”. Of what she will miss in life among the stars: “Floating, flying freely, is perhaps the lightness I will miss most”.
Six years have passed and a few days ago the news arrived that Samantha Cristoforetti will start again shortly, but this time as commander.