Samantha Cristoforetti, Italian European Space Agency astronaut, who is also an Italian Air Force pilot and engineer, believes that humans are not going to Mars anytime soon.
"It will take a long time to fly to Mars. If from the ISS to go to the Moon it takes long time, then to Mars it takes even more. Currently there are many expectations regarding this, but we need investments,” Cristoforetti said during the space conference.
Cristoferetti, who at 40 has already achieved milestones in space exploration, has been a part of space missions such as Expedition 42, Expedition 43, and Soyuz TMA-15M.
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Cristoferetti went on to say, "I think that space cooperation, and especially the flying of astronauts to the ISS, shows us that when you concentrate on common goals, rather than on differences, working together becomes possible even in times of tension. There remains no room for conflicts, because we need to focus on what we have in common, and on the greater goal for which we are all working.”
During the conference, the current President of the Italian Space Agency, ASI, Roberto Battiston said that, "Space is one of the sectors where tension in relations between countries is being smoothened out. Space is very fertile soil for various fields of activity related to international relations.”
He added that, "Space is an instrument of peace.”
The conference was also attended by Franco Frattini, president of Italian Society for International Organization, SIOI, who said that space activities are among the few in which the great tensions between nations diminish.