Samantha Cristoforetti became the first European in outer space

Italian Samantha Cristoforetti became the first European astronaut to go into outer space outside the International Space Station on July 21, 2022. Together with Cristoforetti, cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev went into outer space. The exit outside the ISS began at about 06.00 p.m. GMT+3. The pair will carry out various activities in outer space for about 6.5 hours at an altitude of more than 400 km above the Earth.

Samantha Cristoforetti. Photo: ESA

Scandal with the robotic arm

Among their tasks is to work on a European arm manipulator, who a week ago became involved in an international scandal because of the war unleashed by Russia in Ukraine. At the beginning of last week, the Russian agency Roscosmos threatened the European Space Agency to break off cooperation due to the rejection of a joint mission to Mars. Therefore, Roscosmos switched to blackmail: astronauts on the ISS were ordered to stop using the European ERA manipulator arm installed on the Russian Nauka module. The last one is known for the fact that last year, after docking, it almost sent the ISS into an uncontrolled flight. The inability to use the European robotic arm called into question the future spacewalk.

But after the dismissal of the boorish Dmitry Rogozin from the post of head of Roscosmos last Friday, Washington and Moscow announced that they would resume joint flights to the ISS. Therefore, the planned spacewalk took place. The pair continued to work on setting up a robotic arm sent to the ISS and installed in July 2021 after numerous delays.

The 11-meter robot is one of three on the ISS, but the European robotic arm is the only one that can reach the Russian segment of the station. Once fully configured, the robotic arm will perform numerous tasks and it can be controlled from inside or outside the space station or even remotely from Earth.

Biography of Samantha Cristoforetti

Samantha Cristoforetti graduated from the Technical University of Munich and received a master’s degree in mechanical engineering. She specializes in aerospace engines and defended her thesis on solid rocket fuel. The future astronaut joined the Italian Air Force in 2001. Four years later, a joint training program for pilots of NATO jet aircraft took place at Sheppard Air Force Base in the USA, where in 2006 she received the specialty of a fighter pilot.

After being selected for astronaut training in 2009, Cristoforetti flew into space for the first time in 2015, having been aboard the ISS for 200 days. Her second mission, which began in April, included flying aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule to the ISS for a six-month stay.

Earlier, Samantha Cristoforetti cosplayed Sandra Bullock from Gravity.

According to Phys

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