NEW YORK, MARCH 11 – After living for over six months orbiting around the Earth as UNICEF “ambassador” on the International Space Station, AstroSamantha is about to land at the United Nations. Air Force Captain and pilot Samantha Cristoforetti, the Italian astronaut who spent 199 days aboard the ISS during expeditions 42/43 from November 2014 to June 2015, will be the featured panelist of a side event organized by the Italian Mission at the UN on March 15.
“Now adjusting back to being an Earthling on our beautiful spaceship Earth”, as she declares on her Twitter profile, Cristoforetti is one of the more than 12,000 women have joined the Armed Forces and Carabinieri Corps in Italy since the year 2000 according to the same recruitment and training procedures that apply to men.
The added value women bring to humanitarian missions and missions conducted in the different theatres of operation, also through the implementation of targeted CIMIC (Civil-Military Cooperation) projects, has proven increasingly critical as a catalyzing factor for the empowerment of local women. As is well known, there are areas where servicewomen are indispensable to engaging with the female population, while respecting local culture and religious customs.
The event “Per Ardua ad Aspera” is organized by the Italian Mission with the Ministry of Defense during the 61st session of the UN commission on the status of women. Navy Lieutenant Catia Pellegrino, commander of a Navy unit employed in the hard and sensitive rescue-at-sea operations conducted in favour of migrants and Carabinieri Major Orivella Micelotta, a Company Commander assigned to various sensitive tasks with the Special Forces, will speak during the panel along with Cristoforetti. (@OnuItalia)