Thomas Pescet has just returned for six months to the International Space Station (ISS). On October 13th, he will become its captain, the first for a Frenchman in space history. The tenth French astronaut to go into space is known to the general public for flooding his social networks with pictures, each more beautiful than our next blue planet.
On the occasion of his return to space for the Alpha mission, here are 10 photos that simulate this flight from Cape Canaveral Departure inside the capsule Dragon Crew From SpaceX, when I arrived on the International Space Station.
Thomas Pesquet’s first big change: the capsule. After traveling in the poor and overcrowded Russian Soyuz capsule in 2016, he set off last week at SpaceX’s tech gem, No Crow Dragon. The size of a Fiat 500, the four astronauts spent nearly 24 hours inside the capsule before reaching the International Space Station. Also with this capsule they will return to Earth within six months, at the end of their mission.
Pictured from left to right: Thomas Pesquet, Megan MacArthur, Robert Shane Kimbro, and Akihiko Hoshide.
The capsule when it reached Cape Canaveral, a few days before it landed on top of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. The capsule should ensure a double mission, bring the astronauts to the International Space Station, and then, after six months, be brought back to Earth in the event of a roundabout of nearly 400 kilometers falling in a few minutes. If SpaceX reuses its trademark, the capsule that brings the French will be discarded.
Rarely have astronauts been able to admire the Falcon 9 rocket that would bring them to the International Space Station a few days before the flight. During his first mission to the International Space Station, Thomas Pesquet could not do the same with Soyuz, as the Russians refused an astronaut to discover his rocket before D-Day, this would bring bad luck. Far from the traditions and superstitions of Roscosmos, the citizen of Ruan managed to immortalize this moment, a few days before he took his place on top of the rocket.
If all Russian traditions are not respected at Cape Canaveral, Florida Archery also has little rituals before each excursion. A few days before take off and then in quarantine, astronauts used to go relax on the beach next to the Kennedy Space Center. An opportunity to change your mind one last time before the big take-off.
While the SpaceX rocket took off very well, some perks took advantage of the Frenchman’s mission to capture (cool) photos of this historic SpaceX takeoff. There Elon Musk succeeded on its second manned flight towards the International Space Station. The first is with astronauts not associated with NASA.
A few minutes before docking with the International Space Station capsule Dragon Crew From SpaceX at the ISS window for the last time in this photo. Earth in the background is 400 kilometers less.
After nearly 24 hours of flying in their tiny capsule, the four astronauts joined their colleagues on the International Space Station. For the first time, the International Space Station can accommodate more than 10 people at the same time.
Thomas Pescet, for his part, must stay for six months on the International Space Station. He will be the third European and the first Frenchman in history to assume leadership. A filter that rewards all the work the French have accomplished in the space industry since its maiden flight Proxima, End of 2016.