Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti said she may make a space-walk with a Russian colleague on her next mission to the International Space Station. Her next mission is due to blast off on 21st April.
Milanese-born Cristoforetti, 44, holds the record for the longest uninterrupted spaceflight by a European astronaut (199 days, 16 hours).
“I have trained for a space walk, with the Russian suit”, she said regarding her upcoming mission to the ISS. “There may be a chance of a space-walk with a Russian colleague. It will be decided in due course, on the basis of planning the programme.”
Cristoferetti said the activity on board the ISS took place in “an extremely dynamic and flexible atmosphere”.
Next space mission
Cristoforetti will blast off on 21st April, on the Crew Dragon rocket of Elon Musk’s SpaceX programme.
She will be the first European woman to command the ISS, and only the third woman in the world after two Americans, during Expedition 68, the European Space Agency said.
Cristoforetti is the first Italian woman in space. She is very popular in Italy, where she has the nickname ‘AstroSamantha’ or ‘AstroSam’. She is also a former Italian Air Force pilot and engineer.