Tuesday, March 18, 2014

ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet selected for long-duration mission on ISS

ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet has been assigned to a long-duration mission on the International Space Station.

The assignment of the French-born astronaut was announced by ESA’s Director General Jean Jacques Dordain in the presence of the French Minister for Higher Education and Research, Geneviève Fioraso, and the President of the French space agency, CNES, Jean-Yves Le Gall.

The announcement was made in coordination with the international partners of the International Space Station.

With Thomas Pesquet’s assignment, all six ESA astronauts from the class of 2009 will have flown to the Station on missions within seven years of graduation.

ESA Director General noted: “Thomas’ mission assignment concludes the first phase for our newest members of the ESA astronaut corps which was to make each of them assigned to a spaceflight.

“This is a clear demonstration of the reputation of ESA among the international partners of ISS as well as of ESA astronauts among the international community of astronauts."

"The flight experience gained by this new class of ESA astronauts is providing a solid ground for ESA Member States to contribute to further international human exploration missions.”

International Space Station

Born in Rouen, France, Thomas will be the 10th Frenchman to go to space, following Léopold Eyharts who supported the commissioning and first utilisation of ESA’s Columbus microgravity laboratory on the Space Station.

As a partner in the Station, ESA is entitled to use its resources, which include supporting missions of European astronauts.

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