Italian astronaut and current commander of the International Space Station (ISS), Samantha Cristoforetti, has brought cosplay to literal new heights during her tenure on the space station by dressing up as various sci-fi heroines. She also carries out incredible work in science communication, like sharing how CPR is done in space or explaining menstruation in microgravity. Her latest video does both, combining sci-com with sci-fi cosplay.
The inspiration is Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. In the iconic 1968 movie, a flight attendant on the Pan Am spaceplane wears Velcro shoes to keep her stuck to the plane's floor while in microgravity as she walks up a round wall. “I had to know… can you really walk in space with Velcro shoes?” Cristoforetti tweeted.
It turns out that the movie was right, you can walk in Velcro shoes. Just very slowly, as Cristoforetti demonstrates in a video shared on Twitter. The clip has the Blue Danube playing just like the movie had.
Cristoforetti is the first Italian woman astronaut and holds the record for the longest uninterrupted spaceflight by a European astronaut. She recently became the European Space Agency's first female commander of the ISS.