ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti has started training at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, USA. Set to launch for her second mission in spring 2022, Samantha is already getting reacquainted with International Space Station systems in a series of refresher courses.

Date: 03-19-2021 Location: Bldg 9, ISS Mockups Subject: SpaceX Crew-4 ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti during P MELFI Facility Familiarization Photographer: James Blair

Samantha was last on the International Space Station in 2014 for her Futura mission. She spent 200 days in space, conducting European and international scientific experiments and Space Station operations.

In the coming months, her schedule will intensify as she trains for the specific experiments and tasks she will perform in space during her second mission.

As a collaborative, international effort between the United States, Europe, Canada, Russia and Japan, Space Station training takes place across the globe. Samantha will be training between Johnson Space Center in the USA, the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre in Star City, Russia and the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany.

Samantha and her fellow Class of 2009 astronauts will soon welcome new colleagues. For the first time in over a decade, the European Space Agency is seeking new astronauts and applications are open from 31 March to 28 May 2021. A six-stage selection process will start thereafter. This is expected to be completed in October 2022.

Ready to make #YourWayToSpace? Check out the dedicated website with all the information relating to ESA’s 2021–22 astronaut selection. 

Most importantly, get ready to apply. Perhaps you will find yourself where Samantha is today.