Photo of the day: Italy’s first female astronaut

Italys first woman astronaut

A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying Italy’s first female astronaut, Samantha Cristoforetti, has safely docked with the International Space Station

Samantha Cristoforetti, along with Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov and American astronaut Terry Virts, arrived at the orbiting space lab on the Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft at 0249 GMT Monday, NASA said.

Cristoforetti, Virts and Shkaplerov docked just under six hours after taking off from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. They are to stay at the space station until May 2015.

Their voyage will mean major food upgrades for the astronauts aboard, with nearly a kilo of caviar in their baggage and an espresso machine.

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