Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti returns from her second mission to the ISS

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.

Collectively known as Crew-4, Samantha and her colleagues returned in Crew Dragon spacecraft Freedom, which was 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 water landing off the coast of Florida on 14 October at 22:55 CEST.

IMAGE: ESA

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.

She was born on 26 April 1977 in Milan, Italy, an avid reader with a passion for science and technology, and an equal interest in humanities. She enjoys learning foreign languages and occasionally finds the time to hike, scuba dive, or practice yoga.