SCIENCE

Samantha Cristoforetti Sets New Records For Longest Stint In Space

06/09/2015 01:24 pm ET | Updated Jun 10, 2015
ESA/NASA

Step aside, Sunita Williams. Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti has set a new record for the longest uninterrupted stint in space by a woman--as well as the longest such stint by any ESA astronaut.

(Scroll down for photos.)

Cristoforetti, 38, who is scheduled to return to Earth from the International Space Station on June 11, has been in space since Nov. 23, 2014. When she comes home, she will have spent 200 consecutive days in space. (You can watch the return live here beginning at 9 a.m. EDT.)

Williams, a 49-year-old NASA astronaut, previously held the record for the longest uninterrupted stint in space by a woman. She spent 195 days aboard the ISS in 2007.

The first Italian woman in space, Cristoforetti originally had been scheduled to return to Earth a month earlier. Her stay aboard the ISS was extended after a Russian cargo spacecraft failed to reach the station.

"Looks like it's not time to get my spacesuit ready yet...what a present!" she tweeted after the delay was announced.

During her time in space, Cristoforetti has conducted research on weightlessness and sampled the first espresso in space, among other duties. But she's found the time to maintain a high profile on Twitter as @astrosamantha, and is known for posting some pretty spectacular photos. Scroll down to see some of her best.

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