Italian Samantha Cristoforetti, embarks on Europe's 1st spacewalk by a female astronaut

Updated: Aug 01, 2022, 05:29 PM(IST)

Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti created history by embarking on a spacewalk outside the International Space Station on 21 July. This made her the first European woman to accomplish the feat. 

Cristoforetti recently shared breathtaking images from her spacewalk. Let's take a look:

Who is Samantha Cristoforetti?

Italian-born astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, 45, began her second stint on the ISS in April. She is a veteran of the Italian air force.

She holds the record for the longest stay in space by a woman, having spent 199 days in orbit in 2014 and 2015.

(Image courtesy: Samantha Cristoforetti/@astrosamantha/flickr)

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248 miles above Earth

Cristoforetti was joined by Russian cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev on the spacewalk for which the pair expected spent around six and half hours more than 400 kilometres (248 miles) above Earth.

(Image courtesy: Samantha Cristoforetti/@astrosamantha/flickr)

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Russia vs the West

Their tasks included working on a robotic arm manufactured in Europe that was recently embroiled in tensions between Russia and the West over Moscow's war in Ukraine.

(Image courtesy: Samantha Cristoforetti/@astrosamantha/flickr)

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Robotic arm aboard ISS

The robotic arm, which was launched into orbit in July 2021 after a number of delays, was installed a few months ago. There are three of these robots aboard the ISS, but only this 11-meter long one that resembles a pair of compasses can access the Russian segment.

(Image courtesy: Samantha Cristoforetti/@astrosamantha/flickr)

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Remotely controlled robot arm

The arm may be operated from within or outside the space station, or even from Earth, and once completely configured, it will carry out a variety of duties, largely on the Russian segment.

(Image courtesy: Samantha Cristoforetti/@astrosamantha/flickr)

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The Dmitry Rogozin controversy

The European Space Agency's decision to break off its partnership with Moscow on a Mars rover mission infuriated Dmitry Rogozin, the head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, who instructed cosmonauts on the International Space Station to stop using the European Robotic Arm early last week.

But on Friday, President Vladimir Putin removed Rogozin as head of Roscosmos, and a few hours later, Washington and Moscow announced they will resume joint flights to the ISS.

(Image courtesy: Samantha Cristoforetti/@astrosamantha/flickr)

(Photograph:Others)

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