Italian Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti Spends Her First Day in Space

Twitter savvy astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti arrives at the space station.

ByALYSSA NEWCOMB
November 24, 2014, 11:26 AM

— -- Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti was greeted with hugs in zero G today when she and fellow crew members arrived at the International Space Station to begin a long-term mission.

Cristoforetti, who is Italy's first female astronaut, has graciously shared moments on social media from the years she spent training for the mission -- and said she hopes to stay connected to her 143,000 Twitter followers during her scheduled five-month stay in space.

While Cristoforetti, 37, has yet to tweet about her new home, a video posted by the European Space Agency shows a beaming Cristoforetti and her fellow crew members being welcomed to their new home in low Earth orbit.

Cristoforetti will spend the next five months controlling the International Space Station and handling many of the scientific experiments that are being run by astronauts for scientists back on Earth.

PHOTO: European Space Agency's Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti gestures as her space suit is tested at the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome, prior to blasting off to the International Space Station (ISS), Nov. 23, 2014.
European Space Agency's Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti gestures as her space suit is tested at the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome, prior to blasting off to the International Space Station (ISS), Nov. 23, 2014.
Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images

Among the other guests aboard the ISS are twenty rodents, which arrived in September aboard the SpaceX Dragon capsule.

The animals have been living in NASA's Rodent Research Facility where researchers are studying the long-term impact of weightlessness on their bodies.

Also on board the ISS is the first 3-D printer launched into space. It could potentially crank out spare parts that will allow astronauts to one day fix their vessel on the spot.

PHOTO: launch of a Roscosmos Soyuz FG rocket with Russia's Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Nov. 23, 2014.
ISS Expedition 42/43 crew, Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov (front), NASA astronaut Terry Virts (2nd row) and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti (3rd row) wave ahead of the launch of a Roscosmos Soyuz FG rocket with Russia's Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Nov. 23, 2014.
Mikhail Japaridze/TASS/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Living in space may be a dream for the Italian astronaut, but she'll have to do without a few earthly pleasures. Before launch, she tweeted on Sunday that she had "what was probably my longest shower ever."

Cristoforetti also enjoyed a final feast on Earth before she has to switch over to space cuisine.

One other thing she'll have to do without, for now: A cup of genuine Italian espresso.

ISSpresso, an espresso machine designed by engineering company Argotec and coffee roaster Lavazza in collaboration with the Italian Space Agency, is one of the many items headed to space in April 2015, which comes toward the end of Cristoforetti's visit.

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