Dutch astronaut Kuipers loses space record to Italy's Cristoforetti

Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti (Picture: Twitter/@AstroSamantha)Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti (Picture: Twitter/@AstroSamantha)

Dutch astronaut André Kuipers has been dethroned as the European astronaut with the longest stay on the International Space Station. Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti broke his record on Thursday.

In 2011 and 2012 Kuipers spent 193 days on the ISS before returning to earth on June 30th, 2012. He was supposed to return sooner, but the trip was delayed due to problems with the Russian rocket that was meant to pick him up, NOS reports.

Cristoforetti is currently dealing with similar circumstances, also being on the ISS longer than she planned. She was supposed to return to earth on May 12th, but the trip was postponed when an unmanned Russian cargo ship caught fire in may. The cargo ship was on its way to take supplies to ISS. All flights to the ISS have been postponed until the cause of the accident has been established. The ISS still has enough supplies for weeks.

On Wednesday NASA astronaut Terry Virts, who is also orbiting the earth on the ISS, made history by "shaking hands" with  Dr. André Schiele of the European Space Agency on earth. This was done with two haptic-feedback joysticks programmed to twin the movements of one aonther.