ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti returned to the International Space Station for her second mission, Minerva, on 27 April 2022. She returned to Earth 170 days later, splashing down in Crew Dragon Freedom in the Gulf of Mexico at 20:55 GMT/22:55 CEST Friday 14 October 2022.
Samantha was launched in a new SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule called Freedom alongside her Crew-4 crew mates, NASA astronauts Bob "Farmer" Hines, Kjell Lindgren and Jessica Watkins. During the flight to and from the Station, Samantha served as a mission specialist. On Station, she was USOS Lead, responsible for all activities within the US, European, Japanese and Canadian modules and components of the Station for the duration of her mission. She also became the fifth European and the first European female commander of the International Space Station.
During her time on board Samantha supported numerous European and international experiments in orbit.
Launch: 07:52 GMT/09:52 CEST Wednesday, 27 April 2022
Launch site: Launchpad 39A, NASA Kennedy Space Center, Florida, USA
Spacecraft: SpaceX Crew Dragon
Crew-4 crewmates: Commander Kjell Lindgren, Pilot Bob Hines, Mission Specialist Jessica Watkins
Landing: 20:55 GMT/22:55 CEST Friday, 14 October 2022