Samantha Cristoforetti is now the first person ever to wear a Star Trek uniform while in space, as the Italian astronaut shot a selfie of herself wearing the costume while traveling aboard the International Space Station.
Cristoforetti took the historic photo on the same day she, along with astronaut Terry Virts, captured a Dragon space capsule containing 4,000 pounds of supplies for the ISS crew.
The Dragon space capsule arrived at the space station three days after its April 14 launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla. Among the supplies arriving at the orbiting outpost was a coffee machine called the ISSPresso.
— Sam Cristoforetti (@AstroSamantha) April 17, 2015
The Dragon space capsule is used to resupply space travelers aboard the International Space Station, as well as to carry away garbage and experiments for return to Earth. This unmanned craft was designed and is managed by private developer SpaceX. This was the seventh cargo mission for the ISS by SpaceX, each of which launched from the Florida spaceport operated by NASA.
The ISSPresso arrived at the ISS three months later than scheduled due to the loss of a supply ship in an explosion during a 2014 launch. This meant the espresso machine nearly missed the Italian Cristoforetti, who is due to leave the station in May, returning home to Earth.
American astronaut Scott Kelly, along with Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko, arrived at the ISS in March 2015 on a one-year mission. If everything goes according to plan, this will set a new space endurance record for NASA.
The Falcon 9 rocket that carries the Dragon spacecraft to orbit is manufactured with a first-stage booster designed to land vertically on a floating barge, in a manner reminiscent of Flash Gordon or other 1950s science fiction films. This latest launch was the third attempt to land the booster on the platform, ending in the first stage exploding upon touchdown. The next attempt to carry out the operation is scheduled for June 2015.
The costume uniform worn by Cristoforetti was a copy of the one worn by the bridge crew on Star Trek: Voyager, which broadcast from 1995 to 2001. So far, it is the only one of the five live-action television series in the Star Trek storyline to feature a female captain, Kathryn Janeway (portrayed by Kate Mulgrew).
Construction began on the International Space Station in orbit in 1998. The $150 billion outpost is currently orbiting 249 miles above the Earth at speeds up to 17,150 mph.