From the height of his 43 years, Thomas Pesquet is what one can undoubtedly qualify an accomplished astronaut. At the time of writing, he is in zero gravity aboard the International Space Station (ISS). His return is scheduled for next week, but the date has yet to be confirmed. After this return, Thomas Pesquet will no longer return to the ISS, but his adventure as an astronaut will not end there.
A day at the ISS command post for the French astronaut
On the day of Thomas returns, along with three other astronauts, is scheduled between the November 4 or 5 next. The reason for this uncertainty is the postponement of the flight of their replacements from October 31 to November 3, as part of the SpaceX Crew-3 mission. As a reminder, Thomas and the three other astronauts who are preparing to return to dry land have joined the orbital complex. in April 2021. In total, they therefore spent six months in space.
Seasoned and experienced, the French astronaut was awarded several exit missions in space during this second and final stay aboard the ISS. He had to install new solar panels. On October 4, he took command of the station. He thus becomes the first French astronaut to hold this position. However, since he had already stayed at the ISS in 2009, Thomas Pasquet will not return. Indeed, the European Space Agency only allows two flights to the ISS to its astronauts.
A meeting in forcing between Thomas Pesquet and Matthias Maurer?
If NASA has been forced to postpone the launch of Crew-3, it is not just for technical reasons. Indeed, among the four passengers of this next flight is European astronaut Matthias Maurer. The point is that Germany and France have, in a way, put pressure on the two ESA astronauts (European Space Agency) meet in orbit. It should be noted that these organized reunions have no technical or scientific purpose. Truth be told, she looks no less like a pure communication blow.
Thomas Pesquet: on the way to the moon?
let’s remember that three seats aboard the Gataway are reserved for experienced ESA astronauts. Perfectly meeting the criteria, Thomas Pesquet will most likely be one of these next visitors to the moon. Note also that “Gataway” is the name that NASA gave to the future lunar space station whose launch is scheduled for 2024.
Both space agencies and companies are participating in the realization of this ambitious project. The ultimate goal of this big international partnership is to send humans into space, much further than before, as part of a scientific exploration. For clarification, the orbital complex will be stationed near the moon. There will therefore be no moon landing.
Following NASA’s schedule, the lunar space station Gateway should be operational from 2026. Therefore, it should allow the realization scientific experiments and technological demonstrations.