The best bits of the returning astronaut’s space station mission

SpaceX’s Crew-4 astronauts returned safely to Earth on Friday after living and working six months aboard the International Space Station.

One of those astronauts was Samantha Cristoforetti. The Italian space traveler, on her second orbital mission, shared moments of the adventure with her more than one million Twitter followers and 780,000 TikTok fans, posting photos and videos showing life aboard the orbital outpost, along with many breathtaking images of the Earth 250 miles below.

Here is a selection of Cristoforetti’s tweets posted during his six-monthly space mission.

First, a quick review of the journey up and the first few days in space:

Return to the International @ Space Station (and TikTok) pic.twitter.com/oCgJSdWKcu

– Samantha Cristoforetti (@AstroSamantha) May 6, 2022

A breathtaking view of the moon:

The ethereal beauty of the Moon … the last fragment of the waning scythe that rises above the colors of the impending dawn. #Moon #MissionMinerva pic.twitter.com/bwza4TTlCt

– Samantha Cristoforetti (@AstroSamantha) May 30, 2022

“By bicycle” in space:

Happy #World Bicycle Day from the International @ Space Station! #MissionMinerva #SpazioTok pic.twitter.com/gTepsRjtdR

– Samantha Cristoforetti (@AstroSamantha) June 3, 2022

Take some time to replicate a moment Severity:

One of my biggest regrets of my year in space was watching #GravityMovie and have @AstroSamantha she floats close to the screen after she trains and wasn’t fast enough with the camera. Here is the original failed photo. So disappointed then, but now everything is fine. Thanks, Samanta! https://t.co/4Av29VmDNl pic.twitter.com/XRJA21jjCA

– Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) June 19, 2022

“Moroccan culture is known for its impressive art and architecture,” says Cristoforetti. “No wonder it also looks like a real piece of EarthArt from space!”

Moroccan culture is known for its impressive art and architecture. No wonder it looks like a real piece of #Art of the Earth even from space! #MissionMinerva #Morocco #Maroc #Mountains of the Atlas pic.twitter.com/725JWVVHUK

– Samantha Cristoforetti (@AstroSamantha) July 8, 2022

Here’s how the astronauts on the station capture all those amazing shots of the Earth:

How to take pictures #space! 📸 #worf #SpazioTok #MissionMinerva @es @esaspaceflight pic.twitter.com/IiCnUog6Ru

– Samantha Cristoforetti (@AstroSamantha) July 13, 2022

Preparing for bed on the ISS:

Getting ready for bed! 😴 #Goodnight Routine #SpaceToc #MissionMinerva @ Space Station @es @esaspaceflight pic.twitter.com/MwWSxSjz2H

– Samantha Cristoforetti (@AstroSamantha) July 15, 2022

Here’s a fun effort from the crew-4 astronauts:

Formation flying in our 4 small crew quarters. We did it on the first try … well, maybe on the second 😉
Flight in formation to our 4 small lodgings. Succeeded on the first try… well, maybe on the second 😉#MissionMinerva # Exp67 @ Space Station @es @esaspaceflight pic.twitter.com/gP3ElkxqLW

– Samantha Cristoforetti (@AstroSamantha) July 16, 2022

Do astronauts take vitamin D while on the ISS? Here is the answer:

“You need to have #Vitamin D supplements? ” #Ask me #MissionMinerva #SpazioTok @es @esaspaceflight pic.twitter.com/hrmuI7fPhY

– Samantha Cristoforetti (@AstroSamantha) July 18, 2022

A time-lapse showing the space station’s solar panels following the sun:

A relaxing waltz of solar panels in this accelerated timelapse: the arrays rotate on two axes to follow the sun. It’s ours #robotics the teams on the ground have been busy installing the MISSE materials science experiment – can you see the robotic arm in motion? #MissionMinerva pic.twitter.com/A1Lgk2Tftk

– Samantha Cristoforetti (@AstroSamantha) August 9, 2022

Here we can see an impact crater on Earth that occurred about 300 million years ago:

We explore space and, at times, space comes to meet us. This “visit” if from over 300 million years ago … the Gweni-Fada #meteorite impact crater in Chad – 14 km in diameter! #MissionMinerva pic.twitter.com/x5i0CkXexP

– Samantha Cristoforetti (@AstroSamantha) 11 August 2022

Auroras are a common sight for astronauts on the space station:

The Sun has been very active lately. Last week we saw the most jaw-dropping auroras I’ve ever seen in over 300 days in space! #auroraaustralis #MissionMinerva pic.twitter.com/r9hzZSoMNp

– Samantha Cristoforetti (@AstroSamantha) August 21, 2022

Preparing a meal in space:

Preparing lunch on the @ Space Station. Balanced meals, like this one, help me stay healthy and keep muscles and bones strong in space. #MissionMinerva #SpazioTok @iofbonehealth @es pic.twitter.com/FQWvha7RFA

– Samantha Cristoforetti (@AstroSamantha) 25 August 2022

Stars from the ISS:

Twinkle, twinkle, stars … in fact, come on @ Space Station we observe the stars from the top of the atmosphere, so no, they don’t shine. Also, we don’t have to worry about clouds 😉 @es pic.twitter.com/tqjyeK2q4z

– Samantha Cristoforetti (@AstroSamantha) August 29, 2022

The wonderful Andes seen from space:

A passage in the Andes just before sunset. I love the long shadows on the mountains! #MissionMinerva pic.twitter.com/wNvTaEt6TC

– Samantha Cristoforetti (@AstroSamantha) August 28, 2022

Watching other astronauts come to space:

We had a spectacular view of the #Soyuz launch!
Sergey, Dmitry and Frank will be knocking on our door in a couple of hours … looking forward to welcoming them to their new home! #MissionMinerva pic.twitter.com/b6PP8L6AEl

– Samantha Cristoforetti (@AstroSamantha) September 21, 2022

A small scientific demonstration in microgravity conditions:

What do you think happens to the ping pong ball when I try to sink it into the water? 🤔 Find out! #MissionMinerva #gallery #SpazioTok @es @esaspaceflight @ Space Station pic.twitter.com/dtxW8AOtlS

– Samantha Cristoforetti (@AstroSamantha) September 24, 2022

Space yoga is complicated, but possible:

Yoga in zero gravity? Done!
It’s a bit complicated, but with the right poses (thanks @CosmicKidsYoga!) and a little creative freedom you can do. Look! https://t.co/XXEOcFzg4L#MissionMinerva #CosmicKids https://t.co/H2hGPSAWmD

– Samantha Cristoforetti (@AstroSamantha) September 27, 2022

Here’s how astronauts track their weight while in space:

Can you ‘weigh’ yourself in zero gravity? ⚖️ Not with regular scale. Look! #MissionMinerva #SpazioVita #SpaceTok @es @esaspaceflight @ Space Station pic.twitter.com/iBuSnLsMlD

– Samantha Cristoforetti (@AstroSamantha) 1 October 2022

“Oh, fascinating life as an astronaut!”

Oh, fascinating life of an astronaut! Working in the bowels of our toilet, installing a new pretreatment tank. I love the space plumbing! No problem, the toilet wasn’t broken, it was just a routine activity. Pretreatment is added to urine with each use for chemical stabilization. #MissionMinerva pic.twitter.com/NwYy7tetFg

– Samantha Cristoforetti (@AstroSamantha) October 4, 2022

Coral reefs seen from space:

Coral reefs are an incredible sight from space, just like they are on Earth. They are home to an incredible diversity of marine life – some call them the “rainforests of the sea”. Sad to think we are well on our way to losing most of the world’s coral reefs to global warming.#MissionMinerva pic.twitter.com/2TUQ29Ks8q

– Samantha Cristoforetti (@AstroSamantha) October 7, 2022

Here is a funny video showing Cristoforetti replicating a scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey:

2022 A Space Odyssey. Apparently, yes, you can walk in velcro shoes. Slowly, very very slowly 😉#A space odyssey #MissionMinerva @es @esaspaceflight @ Space Station pic.twitter.com/WI69RXmObE

– Samantha Cristoforetti (@AstroSamantha) 8 October 2022

Bacteria on the ISS could be harmful to human health. Here’s how the crew members test it:

There are no harmful bacteria and fungi on the @ Space Station. And if there ever were, we would find them 😉 Take a look! #MissionMinerva #SpazioVita #SpazioTok @es @esaspaceflight @ Space Station pic.twitter.com/VmkZNEJegw

– Samantha Cristoforetti (@AstroSamantha) October 9, 2022

How microgravity means drinking a cup of coffee in space is a little different than returning to land:

Having a nice cup of coffee looks slightly different in space … 😉 Check it out! #MissionMinerva #Coffee break #SpazioTok @es @esaspaceflight @ Space Station pic.twitter.com/Z68rXcPZgx

– Samantha Cristoforetti (@AstroSamantha) 12 October 2022

Cristoforetti and his three Crew-4 mates fly through the space station:

It was a real pleasure to share this experience with my Crew-4 teammates. What amazing human beings! #MissionMinerva @astro_kjell @astro_watkins @Astro_FarmerBob @NASA_Astronauti @es @esaspaceflight @ Space Station pic.twitter.com/2RcRi7WY5n

– Samantha Cristoforetti (@AstroSamantha) October 13, 2022

And finally, a beautiful time-lapse video shot all over Europe:

One last time, fly with me! Goodbye and, as always, thank you for all the fish! #MissionMinerva @es @esaspaceflight @ESA_EO @ Space Station pic.twitter.com/Dpdushsdvu

– Samantha Cristoforetti (@AstroSamantha) October 13, 2022

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