Humanity dreams of the stars. For most of us, space travel remains a dream. For astronauts, however, that dream is a little closer to reality.

But how do you become an astronaut? Is it worth all the effort? And what’s the future of space exploration? It’s time to put your questions to European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti!

The Q&A will be part of our “#Ask” series, which have included outgoing Presidents of the European Central Bank and EU Commission, Mario Draghi and Jean-Claude Juncker, and Chief Executive of the World Bank, Kristalina Georgieva.

Italy’s “Astro Samantha” learned English, German, French and Russian at an early age, studied aerospace engineering and joined the Italian Air Force. From an early age, she was clear she wanted to become an astronaut. In 2009, she was officially selected as an astronaut of the European Space Agency ESA. Five years later, she launched into space from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Overall, she stayed for 199 days on the International Space Station (ISS), breaking the record for the female astronaut who has spent the most time in space (a record she held until 2017). She still holds the record for the longest uninterrupted spaceflight by a European astronaut. Not only that, but her crew was also the first to taste the very first espresso brewed on the ISS.

What do you want to ask astronaut Cristoforetti? Have you ever wanted to go into space yourself? Why are we all so fascinated by the vast emptiness above us? Or do you question the meaning and purpose of the European space program? Let us know your questions in the form below and we’ll put them to ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti for her response!

Image Credits: (cc) Flickr – NASA Johnson

11 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    Petre Gabriel

    Do you hear others astronauts snoring when sleeping ?

  2. avatar
    Ceylan Arslan

    Hey, ı am studying also aerospace engineering and ı want to work at ESA. What kind of qualification should ı have? And which one is important learning a new language or coding?

  3. avatar

    Did you hear about the new restaurant in space? The food is good, but the atmosphere is terrible.

  4. avatar

    I am sure that (as in any office) there are colleagues that are easier to work with than others. How do you deal with inter-personal conflict in such a high-risk setting as the ISS?

    As the first person to drink espresso in space, is space espresso better than ordinary sea-level espresso?

  5. avatar

    AstroSamantha I would like to ask you if traveling in space is more fatiguing for the physicist or the psyche of the astronauts?

  6. avatar

    How do you stay active on the ISS?

  7. avatar

    Fellow nerd here! Want to know what Hogwarts house you belong to :)

  8. avatar

    Hi Samantha, what about to take with you Mr Salvini in your next trip? And why don’t let him there? It coul be an interesting experiment. Do you think that he could say “the Martians before”?

  9. avatar

    I’m not really aware of space inside the IIS but I think the room for astronauts is not much. Can you please tell something about.

  10. avatar

    Would you like a longer but riskier mission, like Mars or the Moon ? Would it be scary ?

  11. avatar
    Susi Blank

    Wie viele Experimente mussten Sie auf der ISS simultan betreuen? Mussten Sie sich in jedes Experiment inhaltlich vollständig einarbeiten oder steht ein Astronaut dann in ständigem Kontakt für den Austausch mit den betreuenden Wissenschaftlern?
    P.S.: Ich habe vor einiger Zeit Ihren Votrag an der TU München in Garching online verfolgt. Dabei hatte ich großes Mitgefühl mit Ihnen, da einige Personen sehr sexistische Fragen gestellt haben.

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