Samantha Cristoforetti to return from ISS in two days

(AGI) Rome, June 9 - Italy's first-ever female astronautSamantha Cristoforetti is preparing for her return to Earth onJune 11, after spending 199 days aboard the International SpaceStation (ISS). Cristoforetti checked that her Russian-madeSokol space suit was ready for her reentry aboard the descentmodule and once again sent stunning pictures from space, as shehas done every day, ranging from the Italian peninsula at dayand at night to isolated atolls in the middle of the ocean. The38-year-old ESA astronaut's mission was an important one:Cristoforetti conducted around a dozen experiments for Italy,studying the

(AGI) Rome, June 9 - Italy's first-ever female astronautSamantha Cristoforetti is preparing for her return to Earth onJune 11, after spending 199 days aboard the International SpaceStation (ISS). Cristoforetti checked that her Russian-madeSokol space suit was ready for her reentry aboard the descentmodule and once again sent stunning pictures from space, as shehas done every day, ranging from the Italian peninsula at dayand at night to isolated atolls in the middle of the ocean. The38-year-old ESA astronaut's mission was an important one:Cristoforetti conducted around a dozen experiments for Italy,studying the effects of microgravity on the human body. Theresults will aid further research with the ultimate aim ofplanning a long-term space mission. Cristoforetti also ranexperiments in the fields of biology and medicine, but she willalso return with more singular achievements to her name, suchas installing a 3D printer on the ISS and the ISSpressomachine, with which she prepared espressos for the crew.Cristoforetti spoke with Italian President Sergio Mattarella onMarch 30 through a linkup at the European Space Agency inParis, as well as with Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on April 7,and Italy's Minister of Education Stefania Giannini and 300students visiting the Italian Space Agency on April 22. TheSoyuz TMA-15M reentry vehicle, which is currently docked at theRussian Rassvet module, will detach at 12:20 p.m. (CET) onThursday. The return operations will begin at 8.55 a.m. with afarewell party with the astronauts who are to remain on theISS, and entry into the Soyuz capsule. Once the doors aresealed, the operations will be coordinated from the Roscosmoscentre on land. The capsule will touch ground at 15.43 p.m.near the city of Dzhezkazgan on the steppes of Kazakhstan.Cristoforetti now holds the duration record for femaleastronauts, beating American astronaut Sunita Williams's 195days on the ISS from December 2006 to June 2007.Cristoforetti's prolonged stay on the station was unplanned:due to return on May 14, her reentry was delayed after theRussian Progress M-27M freighter disintegrated in theatmosphere and plummeted into the Pacific Ocean early thatmonth. Cristoforetti will return alongside Russian astronautAnton Shkaplerov and NASA astronaut Terry Virts.. .