European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti checks her Sokol pressure suit in preparation for the Expedition 43 crew’s departure from the International Space Station after 6 1/2 months in space. Since Saturday, June 6, 2015, Cristoforetti holds the record for the longest single spaceflight for a woman, a record previously held by NASA astronaut Sunita Williams with 195 days after Expedition 33. Cristoforetti also holds the record for the longest uninterrupted spaceflight of an ESA astronaut.
Cristoforetti and fellow Expedition 43 crew members Terry Virts of NASA and Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos will return to Earth on June 11. The trio from the U.S., Russia and Italy will enter the Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft, undock from the Rassvet module at 6:20 a.m. EDT and land in Kazakhstan at 9:43 a.m. (7:43 p.m. Kazakh time). Their return wraps up 199 days in space, during which they performed scientific research and technology demonstrations and traveled more than 84 million miles since their launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Nov. 24, 2014.
Image Credit: ESA/NASA