Rome: An Italian woman astronaut has been assigned for the first time for a mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS), Xinhua reported Tuesday.
Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti will be launched into space on a Soyuz spacecraft from Kazakhstan in 2014.
Cristoforetti, 35, a captain in the Italian Air Force, is now being trained on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, robotics and spacewalks.
"The past three years as a European astronaut have been an amazing time of personal and professional growth," she said.
"I am now excited to continue this journey with the objective of serving Italy and Europe as a crewmember of the International Space Station," she added.
Cristoforetti will be part of a six-member international crew aboard the ISS.