Samantha Cristoforetti direct live postponed again the return to Earth: bad weather in Florida – by Paolo Ricci Bitti


Samantha Cristoforetti direct live postponed again the return to Earth: bad weather in Florida – by Paolo Ricci Bitti
Written by aquitodovale

The astronaut before the postponement was announced: “Tonight I’ll sleep in a bed”

“We are preparing for departure and ditching!” Samantha Cristoforetti tweeted, just before the delay was announced. “Here, it was my last night in weightlessness, the next time I go to sleep it will be in a bed. Bitter-sweet!”.

At 2 pm the operations for the detachment of the spacecraft began

Samantha Cristoforetti and the Crew-Dragon crew have already worn the SpaceX spacesuits and have started the procedures for the detachment (undocking) of the Italian 14.20, with the closing of the hatch of the Crew Dragon Freedom shuttle. This is what the times communicated by NASA provide, which at the moment indicate the departure time at 16.05 Italian and the landing at 23.43 Italian this evening.

Samantha Cristoforetti new postponement of the return to Earth with the Crew-4 crew. You will talk about it again, perhaps, tomorrow, October 14, NASA said.

The live go-ahead for today October 13 lasted just under an hour. It was again “CristofoReady” (as the Americans call it) or Cristoforetti ready to start the return journey from the international space station after finishing the Minerva ESA mission, a dive at over 30 thousand kilometers per hour which also includes ditching, the splashdown never experienced by the six Italian astronauts who preceded it. One last sigh looking out at the dome, a look at the black of space and the green-celestial of the Earth, then off on the Freedom spacecraft. as always. Start-up operations began at 2 pm but the definitive stop arrived by 3 pm because the weather on the Gulf of Mexico was not encouraging: the departure was scheduled at 16.05 today with arrival at 23.43always Italian time, always today.

by Paolo Ricci Bitti

The direct up to the splash-down

Summarizing and barring further worsening of the weather conditions on Florida, the undocking maneuvers (detachment) of the SpaceX CrewDragon Freedom spacecraft of Elon Musk, rented by NASA, will restart tomorrow August 14 to end in one of the 4 selected areas in the Gulf of Mexico, already discarded. yesterday for meteorological reasons the 3 of the Atlantic Ocean always off Florida.

With her in the spacecraft Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines and Jessica Watkins. From the moment of detachment from the ISS of the Crew Dragon Freedom shuttle to that of ditching, almost 8 hours of controlled fall are expected.

Samantha Cristoretti of the European Space Agency spent – at this point – 170 days on the ISS as part of the Minerva mission. Between 2014 and 2015, the 45-year-old spent another 199 up there for the Futura mission. She was the first European commander of the ISSE and reached other records thanks to a total of 370 days in space, four more than in Luca Parmitanohitherto Italian record holder.

Here you can follow the live streaming of NASA.

Here the direct from the European Space Agency

Poetry to greet space

The experiments

Many experiments carried out, especially within the European module-laboratory Columbus of the ISS, six of which designed by ASI, from the impact of microgravity on the female reproductive system to the consequences of radiation on Italian extra virgin olive oil. There are also many dissemination activities for schools and the first videos posted on TikTok by an astronaut.

The new handover

Cristoforetti in the afternoon passed the command of the International Space Station (ISS) to cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev. After thanking the control center and the ISS partner space agencies, the astronaut of the European Space Agency (ESA) said: “Thanks to Italy, my country, for the opportunity it offered me to be aboard the Space Station.” She was in command of the ISS for 15 days: the second shortest command after that of her American colleague Shannon Walker, which lasted 11 days. It was a crowded ceremony: there are 11 astronauts aboard the ISS. «Here on board there was a process of crew rotation to the Fast and Furious – said the Italian – It was a short but intense command. I was lucky to have had this opportunity, it is a pleasure, an honor and a privilege to have shared this experience with you », she said again. “Thank you all”. You said the astronaut again, addressing the control center on Earth, NASA, ESA.

The thirty is now preparing to face the long return trip with colleagues from Crew 4, the Americans Bob Hines, Kjell Lindgren and Jessica Watkins. The hatch of the Crew Dragon Freedom shuttle is scheduled to close today at 11.20 pm Italian time, departure at 1.05 am Italian time on 13 October and landing at 11.41 pm on the same day. The seven members of Expedition 68 remain on board the Space Station: the new commander Prokopiev, who arrived on board on 21 September with the American Francisco Rubio and the Russian Dmitrij Petelin plus the crew of Crew 5 consisting of the Americans Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada , the Russian Anna Kikina and the Japanese Koichi Wakata.

The wishes of the astronaut

“I hope to see my family and friends again soon and to be able to take a nice shower,” said the thirty-year astronaut of the European Space Agency (ESA), in the press conference organized by NASA the day before yesterday and in which he participated. with his colleagues from the Crew 4. On the forehead there was no longer the patch applied the day before after a small bump – explained ESA – with the edge of one of the many instruments installed on the walls of the laboratory modules.

«When I return to Earth I would like to spend a lot of time in the midst of nature“. Logical after almost six months spent closed in a large camper: the desire for fresh air and the scent of the lawn immediately reach the third place among the desires of astronauts after hugs to family members and the essential shower.

After landing and check-ups in Florida, Samantha Cristoforetti will immediately reach Cologne, where she lives with her family (her partner Lionel Ferra, her daughter Kelsi Amel and her son Dorian Lev) and where the ESA European Center is located. training of astronauts.

Samantha Cristoforetti with her French partner Lionel Ferra and their sons Kelsi Amel and Dorian Lev: the photo had been stuck by the thirty-year astronaut on the tool bag used during the spacewalk.

Compared to his first time in space, with the Futura mission of the Italian Space Agency (ASI), AstroSamantha said that “then he had so many things to learn and being in space was so exciting that today the memory of his first days is confused.. In this second mission – he added – I was able to appreciate much more what was happening and grasp more details. The balance of this second mission, Minerva, of ESA, which began last April and is now in its final stages, is certainly positive, but in which it has marked important records, such as being the first European astronaut to face a spacewalk and have command of the Iss. The balance of the scientific experiments continued or started by this crew is also important.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX CrewDragon spacecraft lands in Florida waters. Then the spacecraft is hooked with a crane from a support ship: the astronauts, a little bewildered, then land directly on the deck. The spacecraft blackens a lot as it crosses the atmosphere at over 30 thousand kilometers per hour, with the heat shield that has to face temperatures above 1500 degrees centigrade, more than those of a blast furnace. In fact, the spacecraft is wrapped in purple and flaming plasma (Video below)

None of the six Italian astronauts who preceded Samantha Cristoforetti used the ditching maneuver, the splashdown, which became famous during the Apollo missions and was not used by the Russians and Chinese. Franco Malerba, Maurizio Cheli, Umberto Guidoni, Roberto Vittori, Paolo Nespoli and Luca Parmitano returned to earth with the Space Shuttle that glided majestically like a glider or experienced the hard impact of the Sojuz spacecraft on the steppe of Kazakhstan. After all, the ditching of manned spacecraft has remained in the attic from 1975 (the Apollo-Soyuz program that gave the cold war a good kick) to 2020. (advent of the private CrewDragon).

With Russians and Chinese

Samantha Cristoforetti was in any case trained to ditch her cosmonaut friends with the Soyuz and even with the Chinese: the Italian participated in an unprecedented course with the taikonauts when it seemed that relations between ESA and the Chinese space agency (CNSA) should bear much fruit. . For the occasion, she learned Chinese (the sixth language she masters) to the point of holding an interview on Beijing state TV without an interpreter. Below the story with an unmissable video. In fact, in the epic of astronautics only the Italian and German Matthias Maurer boast this triple competence.

Neemo mission

In addition, the Trentino astronaut, between the Futura mission and the Minerva mission, was also commander of a Neemo mission in the same waters where the splashdown will take place: off the coast of Florida a NASA base is installed on the seabed that is used for training, test equipment and carry out scientific experiments. With her was also the American Jessica Watkins, former rugby team at 7, who is participating with her in the Minerva mission.

Paolo Ricci Bitti


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