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Another woman on board

November 24, 2014

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Soyuz spacecraft carrying Italy’s first female astronaut has reached the International Space Station this morning. Samantha Cristoforetti joined Russian cosmonaut Elana Serova to stay there until May next year.

It is the second time in the station’s 16 year history that two women will be part of the six member crew. Serova and Cristoforetti’s joint flight is a result of increased interest in medical research of gender differences in space. A series of studies have so far suggested women tend to suffer more vertigo and lose more blood plasma during spaceflight, but suffer less vision impairment in orbit than men astronauts. There are also many questions related to astronauts’ reproductive health as a result of space radiation and weightlessness, so the female astronauts may provide further answers to these questions, which might prove to be very important once humans reach to Mars.

During press conference Russian reporters wanted to know what makeup Serova has packed and how she will manage to maintain her hairstyle in space. After years of training for the space mission, the answer was stark: Why do not you ask that my male colleague? The last thing female astronauts want to dwell on before the blast, is the fact they are women.

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From → Hic Salta

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