Cristoforetti leaving Italian Air Force – English – Agenzia ANSA

Cristoforetti leaving Italian Air Force – English – Agenzia ANSA

(ANSA) – Rome, December 31 – Samantha Cristoforetti, an
Italian astronaut with the European Space Agency (ESA), is
leaving the Italian Air Force, military sources said on Tuesday,
confirming a report published by Milan daily Corriere della
Sera.
    The Air Force sources said Cristoforetti, the first Italian
female astronaut to join ESA who is known in Italy as ‘Astrosamantha’, is leaving after 19 years of mandatory air
force service.
    Cristoforetti had reportedly announced her decision on
several occasions to air force chief of staff, General Alberto
Rosso.
    Tuesday is her last day in service although the astronaut, who
is also a pilot and engineer, is expected to travel to Istrana
on Thursday where her command is based to bid farewell.
    Air force sources ruled out that disagreements were behind
Cristoforetti decision to leave service.