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Updated September 28th, 2022 at 23:14 IST

Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti becomes first European woman commander of ISS

She took over from Russia's Oleg Artemyev, who gave her a symbolic key to hand over command, as well as a little tube that contained cake.

Reported by: Associated Press Television News
Edited by: Associated Press Television News
NASA
IMAGE: NASA | Image:self
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Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti became the first European woman to take over the command of the International Space Station on Wednesday during a live ceremony from space. She took over from Russia's Oleg Artemyev, who gave her a symbolic key to hand over command, as well as a little tube that contained cake. Cristoforetti will be the fifth European commander of the International Space Station.

She began her Minerva mission in April 2022. According to ESA the Station's commander is responsible for the performance and well-being of the crew in orbit, maintaining effective communication with the teams on Earth, and coordinating the crew response in case of emergencies. Since Cristoforetti takes command in the final weeks of her stay on board, one of her major duties will be to ensure a smooth and comprehensive handover to the next expedition crew.

This year, as India marked its 75th anniversary of independence, on behalf of NASA and all of the international partners, the International Space Station (ISS) had reached out to India and sent its best wishes.Italian astronaut Cristoforetti was seen thanking India on its 75th anniversary of independence and the country's space agency, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), on the "Gaganyaan" programme in a video posted on Twitter.
 The astronaut mentioned in the video that ISRO and other international organisations had worked together on a number of space and science missions for the past ten years.

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Published September 28th, 2022 at 23:14 IST

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