Giulia Bassani: Italy’s Next Samantha Cristoforetti
“My name’s Giulia Bassani, I’m 16 years old and I live in Italy. I was born on January 1, on the New Years’ Eve!
I have always been an athletic and studious girl. I did artistic gymnastics at the competitive level, and when I wasn’t at the gym I was at home, doing homework and studying. Since I was a child, I loved science and was always full of questions. I also loved to help animals when they needed me. But another big passion was slowly growing inside me: becoming an astronaut. When I was about 7 years old, I started watching space films and I really loved them. Even when the stories scared me because of the accidents or astronauts who died in space, I was impressed and amazed. I loved space and I loved reading astronomy books to look at the great photos. At first, I was unsure about this incredible dream- it seemed to be very hard and far away. Even impossible! But then, at the beginning of March, I discovered that the first Italian woman had reached the international space station. I’m talking about astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti. And in that exact moment, my prior insecurity transformed to courage, curiosity, and will. Samantha inspired me, because she made me understand that impossible is nothing if you really want something. I knew that if I wanted to achieve that dream, I would have to start working immediately.
First, I printed out the ESA’s requirements for the astronaut’s application and hung it up on a wall in my room so that I had a path to follow.Then, I started studying Russian, because it’s one of the official languages on board the ISS.
I subscribed to Twitter and Instagram (both @Astro_Giulia) where I can read news directly from the Space Agencies and where I post space news by myself. I started reading space magazines and books on physics. I attend the scientific high school and joined a physics group too.I went to many conferences by Italian astronauts like Maurizio Cheli or Luca Parmitano, and it was amazing to listen to them talking about space. In May, I was invited to visit Argotec, where they prepare food for astronauts and I got to try Samantha’s favorite space snack. Every night, I use my telescope to look at the stars and the planets, imagining to be up there too. I’m sure that at the first opportunity, I’ll go to USA for some space activities. But this is already something, and I’m sure I’m not wasting my time.
Dear girls, if your dream is to become an astronaut or to become a baker, there is no difference on the way to success. In both cases, the secret is working hard constantly and staying focused on that goal.
I’m going to give you 3 main tips:
- First, if you want to become an astronaut, the most important thing is Passion. Space Agencies are looking for passionate people who love what they do. Do not do it just because it’s “cool”- do it because you love it!
- Second, never give up. There will be many obstacles on your path- you will be unsure, fearfull, and maybe sad, but this is not the reason to leave. If you fall, just stand up stronger.
- Finally, keep believing. Believe in yourself and believe in what you’re going to do.
Remember what Samantha or every other astronaut taught us? Impossible is nothing if you really want something.”
In addition to her avid Italian space adventures, Giulia loves to use her youtube channel to talk about space! You can check out her main video here. Bassani also loves to interact with her fans on instagram and twitter, and plans to keep everyone updated on her amazing space adventures.