Samantha Cristoforetti was born in Milan on April 26th, 1977. She is the most famous Italian astronaut. She was the first woman to join the European Space Agency. During her brilliant career she has collected lots of awards. Her adventure as a pilot of the Aeronautical Academy began in 2001: her career led her to the rank of captain. She also obtained a degree in aeronautical sciences at the Federico II University of Naples. During her studies, Samantha’s dedication and passion emerge clearly. During her career in the air force Samantha Cristoforetti also works in other sectors, including that of the fighter-bomber group. In this period she can fly various types of aircraft and collects lots of successes, until December 2019; in this year, her career as a military pilot ends. The turning point for her career came when the European Space Agency in May 2009 chose her as the first Italian woman and the third girl in Europe for aspiring astronauts; she was among the best six participants: thanks to this result, she was immediately involved in a mission lasting seven months.
The Italian astronaut enjoys such international prestige that it is not surprising that Mattel, the manufacturer of the Barbie, has dedicated a model of the doll to her, in order to inspire girls to follow positive models. Happy birthday, Samantha!