“Here I feel like in my second home, in the company of American and Russian colleagues and with my European colleague Matthias Maurer”, for six months in space with the Crew-3 mission: said Samantha Cristoforetti in the connection from the Space Station organized from ESA for the two European astronauts, together on board for a short time. To greet them, the presidents of the space agencies of Europe, Josef Aschbacher, Germany Walther Petzer, and of the Italian Space Agency (ASI), Giorgio Saccoccia.
Maurer (ESA), the Space Station is a symbol of cooperation for Earth
The International Space Station (ISS) “has always been a wonderful place for peaceful international cooperation where nations come together to do something good for all humanity: I would like this symbol to be reflected on Earth as well and that leaders and decision-makers maker make our beautiful Europe and our beautiful Planet a peaceful place where people cooperate for the good of humanity, “said Maurer during the link.
After 7 years, many new features on board
On board for just three days, AstroSamantha added to “work a lot with colleagues from Crew-3”: an intense period, before their departure, now imminent. “I found a complex environment,” she said referring to the work on the Space Station. Referring to his first mission, Futura (2014-2015), the astronaut noted that “after seven years the activities on board have grown a lot and the crew-3 colleagues have been incredibly generous and patient”. It will be an advantage, he added, to have them still close for a few days, “to learn about the many new experiments within the European Columbus laboratory. Then we will begin the transition to normal days”, when for Cristoforetti and his crew-4 colleagues the activities on board they will become routine.
This time adapting was easy
This time adapting to space was easier and faster: speak as a veteran, Samantha Cristoforetti, on her second mission in space. “The adaptation was faster,” she said during the hookup. “I had the opportunity to fly in a new vehicle, after flying the Soyuz,” the Italian astronaut told his German colleague, referring to his last trip aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon shuttle. “It was extraordinary to have had this opportunity, as did Matthias”, who also arrived on the Space Station in a Crew Dragon. “To Matthias – she added – my wishes to be able to fly with a new spacecraft, a European vehicle”.
Maurer, AstroSam has ‘excellent preparation’
“I am very happy to see Samantha here in space to take the European leadership, I am convinced that she will continue all the exceptional work that was prepared on the ground by the scientists and sent here”: she has an “excellent level of preparation, she will have no problems in the months to carry out all the experiments, “said Matthias Maurer.
Ready to pack up to return to Earth in the next few days (“it will depend on the weather, we could leave tomorrow or the day after or in a week”), Maurer will spend the next few hours transmitting the knowledge accumulated in recent months to the newcomers of Crew-4 . With Samantha Cristoforetti, however, it will not take him long: “as soon as she resumed floating here it was as if she had never left the Space Station”, he pointed out.
In his speech, the German astronaut recalled that, thanks to Thomas Pesquet who preceded him and now thanks to Cristoforetti, a consecutive year and a half of European presence on the ISS is achieved, “an exceptional result”. Regarding his CosmicKiss mission, now in its final stages, Maurer said: “I am very happy that all the experiments prepared have gone smoothly. I hope we will have produced great results that will keep researchers busy for the next months or even years”.
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Cristoforetti, on the ISS I feel at home with my American and Russian colleagues – Science & Technology
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