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Be 'Friends in Space' with Astronaut Cristoforetti As She Explores ISS and Space Espresso

24 November 2014, 1:54 pm EST By James Maynard Tech Times
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Samantha Cristoforetti arrived at the International space station, along with an espresso machine. A new application allows users to communicate directly with the astronaut.   ( European Space Agency )

Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti arrived at the International Space Station (ISS), bringing an espresso coffee maker with her to the orbiting outpost. Upon arrival at the orbiting outpost, Cristoforetti became the first Italian woman in space.

Cristoforetti called her mother after her arrival at the space station, announcing her safe arrival.

The European Space Agency (ESA) traveler arrived at the orbiting outpost, along with Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian federal space agency, Roscosmos, and NASA astronaut Terry Virts.

"Expedition 42 Commander Barry "Butch" Wilmore of NASA and Alexander Samoukutyaev and Elena Serova of Roscosmos welcomed the new crew members aboard their orbital home," NASA officials wrote in news release.

Friends in Space is a new app developed by Italian communications innovator Accurat, allowing people on Earth to communicate with Cristoforetti while she is living aboard the space station. The application only allows users to communicate with the space traveler while the ISS is over their location. Travel times and paths for the orbiting outpost can easily be tracked by people using the new software. At other times, app users are able to communicate among themselves, providing the app with a social network of space enthusiasts here on Earth. Astronaut's daily logs can also be visualized using the new application.

Lavazza, an Italian coffee company, designed the espresso machine to produce real Italian espresso, along with broth and tea. Along with the coffeemaker, supplies to the International Space Station also included around two pounds of caviar.

Cristoforetti was born in Milan in April 1977, and has earned a masters degree in mechanical engineering, for which she wrote a thesis examining solid rocket propellants. She trained for five years as an astronaut before heading to space. Cristoforetti enjoys scuba diving, hiking, yoga and studying the Chinese language. Italy's first female astronaut has roughly 146,000 followers in Twitter. While in space, the 37-year-old will manage microgravity experiments in biology, human physiology and physical science. She is also scheduled to give the command that will undock the ATV Georges Lematre, the station's largest support vehicle, sending it to a fiery demise through the atmosphere of the Earth.

"Samantha was selected as an ESA astronaut in May 2009. She joined ESA in September 2009 and completed basic astronaut training in November 2010. In July 2012 she was assigned to an Italian Space Agency ASI mission aboard the International Space Station," the European Space Agency stated on the space traveler's biography.

The new space travelers will spend five months in space before returning to Earth early in 2016.

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