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Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti Sets Record For Longest Spaceflight By A Woman

13 Jun 2015, 02:48 UTC
Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti Sets Record For Longest Spaceflight By A Woman
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An ESA astronaut broke the record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman.

Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti has returned to Earth after what is now the longest continuous spaceflight by a woman in history. Cristoforetti and her two crewmates, NASA astronaut Terry Virts and Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, landed safely in Kazakhstan at 9:44 a.m. EDT on Thursday.

Cristoforetti spent a total of nearly 200 days aboard the International Space Station as a part of Expedition 42 and 43. Her record spaceflight surpassed that of Sunita William’s, who previously held the record for the longest single spaceflight by a female astronaut, spending almost 195 days in space.

The record for the longest uninterrupted spaceflight by a woman was not one Cristoforetti had anticipated breaking when she began her stay aboard the International Space Station in November. However, the failure of a Russian cargo vessel launched in late April postponed the launch of the next space station crew and extended the stay of Cristoforetti and her crewmates aboard the International Space Station by almost a month.

Samantha Cristoforetti waves goodbye from the Cupola module on the International Space Station in this photo posted online on June 11, 2015. Image Credit: ...

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