Born in Rouen, France, on 27 February 1978, Thomas Pesquet is a black belt in judo and enjoys basketball, jogging, swimming, squash and outdoor sports such as mountain biking, kite surfing, sailing, skiing and mountaineering. He also has extensive experience in scuba diving and sky diving. His other interests include travelling, playing the saxophone and reading.
Thomas graduated from the Lycée Pierre Corneille in Rouen, France, in 1998.
In 2001, he received a master’s degree from the École Nationale Supérieure de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace in Toulouse, France, majoring in space systems and space vehicle mechanics. He spent his final year before graduation at the École Polytechnique de Montréal, Canada, as an exchange student on the Aeronautics and Space Master.
Thomas graduated from the Air France flight school in 2006. This led to an Air Transport Pilot License-Instrument Rating (ATPL-IR).
Thomas is a member of the French Aeronautics and Astronautics Association (3AF) and of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).
From April to September 2001, Thomas was a trainee engineer with Thales Alenia Space in Cannes, France, where he developed a satellite system tool using concurrent engineering techniques.
From October 2001, he worked as a spacecraft dynamics engineer on remote sensing missions for GMV S.A. in Madrid, Spain.
Between 2002 and 2004, Thomas worked at the French space agency, CNES, as a research engineer on space mission autonomy. He also carried out various studies on future European ground segment design and European space technology harmonisation. From late 2002, he was a representative of CNES at the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems, working with international space agencies.
Thomas has a private pilot’s licence and was selected in 2004 for Air France’s flight training programme. He went on to become a commercial pilot for the French airline, where he started flying the Airbus A320 in 2006. After having logged more than 2000 hours flying on commercial airliners, he became a type rating instructor on the A320 and a Crew Resource Management instructor.
Thomas was selected as an ESA astronaut in May 2009. He joined ESA in September 2009 and completed basic training in November 2010. Among other duties, he is training for his Eurocom certification, which will allow him to communicate with astronauts during spaceflights.
Last update: 24 June 2013