ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti returns from her second mission to the International Space Station

ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti returned to Earth alongside NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines and Jessica Watkins, marking the end of her second mission to the International Space Station (ISS), Minerva.

GMT190_11_43_For ESA_Samantha Cristoforetti_Acoustic Diagnostics

Collectively known as Crew-4, Samantha and her colleagues returned in Crew Dragon spacecraft Freedom, which undocked autonomously from the Station on 14 October 2022 at 18:05 CEST. After completing a series of deorbit burns, Freedom entered Earth’s atmosphere and deployed its parachutes for a water-landing off the coast of Florida on 14 October at 22:55 CEST.

Crew-4 was launched to the Station on 27 April 2022 and spent nearly six months living and working in orbit as members of ISS Expedition 67.

As part of her Minerva mission, Samantha supported numerous European experiments and many more international experiments in microgravity. She will now fly directly to Cologne, Germany, where she will be monitored by ESA’s space medicine team as she readapts to Earth’s gravity at ESA’s European Astronaut Centre (EAC) and the German Aerospace Centre’s (DLR) ‘Envihab’ facility.

It is currently foreseen that Samantha will arrive in Cologne at 16:00 CEST, 15 October.

  • ESA also photo