Mission Patch

→ Futura

The International Space Station is ready to welcome Captain Samantha Cristoforetti, Italian Air Force pilot and ESA astronaut, for the Italian Space Agency ASI long-duration mission called Futura. Samantha will be part of Expedition 42/43 that will be launched 23 November 2014. She will be the seventh Italian astronaut and the first Italian woman to fly into space. This will be Samantha’s first space flight, reaching the Space Station on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. Samantha will remain on International Space Station for about six months due to a bilateral agreement between the Italian Space Agency and NASA, whereby Italy provided the American space agency with supply modules and a permanent module for the orbiting outpost in exchange for time to run science and flight opportunities. Samantha will perform research, and help maintain the enormous space laboratory. Samantha’s role in Expedition 42/43 confirms that Italy has a leading role in the space sector and in research on the International Space Station. The Space Station is a great orbiting laboratory that is a unique research centre flying 400 km above Earth. Astronaut activities focus on international and multidisciplinary research. Samantha is featured in many experiments that ASI selected from proposals designed and developed by Italian universities, research organisations and businesses, as well as experiments chosen by ESA and other partner agencies of the Station. Futura is a long-duration mission that will engross space fans who want to experience the stunning environment in terms of science, technology and international cooperation for peace and for the future humanity.  
  • Samantha Cristoforetti

    Born in Milan but grown up in Malé (Trento), Samantha Cristoforetti is one of the six astronauts of the ESA 2009 selection, the Shenanigans. Pilot of the Italian AirForce Samantha is going to be parte of the Expedtion 42/43 to the International Space Station; she was selected as an ESA astronaut in May 2009  and in  July 2012 she was assigned to an Italian Space Agency ASI mission, called Futura. The date for the launch of Futura is set: Samantha is going to leave for space on Sunday the 23rd at 22:01 GMT from the Bajkonur cosmodrome.  Read more

    Anton Shkaplerov

    Anton was selected as a cosmonaut in 2003 after a career in the Russian Air Force, including flying the Mig-29 aircraft. Anton is a qualified parachuting instructor. He flew to the Station just two years before this Expedition during Expedition 29/30 and shared the outpost with ESA astronaut André Kuipers, among others.

    Anton spent time outside the Station on a spacewalk in 2012 to move a crane and install new shielding.

    Aleksandr Samokutyayev

    Alexander Samokutyaev flew into space for the first time to the International Space Station as flight engineer on Expedition 27 and 28. His launch took place in April 2011 and coincided with the 50th anniversary Yuri Gagarin’s pioneering orbit of Earth. He has worked for more than six hours outside the Station, performing a variety of tasks on the Russian part of the complex. He performed a second spacewalk with Max Suarev during the first half Expedition 42.
  • Yelena Serova

    Yelena Serova is the fourth Russian female cosmonaut to travel into space, 17 years after her predecessor Yelena Kondakova flew on Space Shuttle STS-84. Yelena Serova is an engineer and economist and joined the Roscosmos cosmonaut corps in 2011.

    Barry Wilmore

    Barry ‘Butch’ Wilmore is a NASA astronaut. He has a degree in electrical engineering, and has flown thousands of hours as a navy test pilot. He flew to the International Space Station on an 11-day Space Shuttle mission in November 2009. During the mission, the crew delivered two Express Logistics Carriers and about 13 tonnes of replacement parts for the Station.

    He commanded the Station’s robotic arm during ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst’s spacewalk on 7 October 2014 and made his own sortie a week later.

    Terry Virts

    Samantha’s other crewmate is also a fighter pilot in the air force. After an extensive career in the US Air Force, Terry joined the NASA astronaut corps in 2000. His first mission was to pilot Space ShuttleEndeavour to the International Space Station in 2010. The mission brought ESA’s Cupola window module and the outpost’s Tranquility life-support hub.