ESA title
Play
$video.data_map.short_description.content
Science & Exploration

ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet arrives at the International Space Station

19/11/2016 11514 views 71 likes
ESA / Science & Exploration / Human and Robotic Exploration / Proxima

ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet, NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson and Roscosmos commander Oleg Novitsky docked with the International Space Station today after a two-day flight in their Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft. 

Proxima liftoff
Proxima liftoff

The trio was launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan 17 November at 20:20 GMT and enjoyed a routine flight to catch up with the Space Station 400 km up.

This was the first launch of an ESA astronaut on an upgraded version of the workhorse spacecraft that has been in service for almost 50 years. Despite the modernisation, for the crew it was like spending two days in a small car. Throughout the journey the astronauts kept in radio contact with Moscow ground control.

After docking at 21:58 GMT, Thomas, Peggy and Oleg were welcomed aboard the Space Station at 00:40 GMT by NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and cosmonauts Andrei Borisenko and Sergei Ryzhikov.

The six will maintain the Station and work on scientific experiments that cannot be done anywhere else, exploiting the weightlessness that is unique to the space laboratory.

This marks the start of Thomas’s Proxima mission, named after the closest star to the Sun – continuing a tradition of naming missions with French astronauts after stars and constellations. 

The mission is part of ESA’s vision to use Earth-orbiting spacecraft as a place to live and work for the benefit of European society while using the experience to prepare for future voyages of exploration further into the Solar System.

Thomas will perform about 50 scientific experiments for ESA and France’s CNES space agency, as well as take part in many research activities for the other Station partners.

This is the ninth long-duration mission for an ESA astronaut and Thomas is the last of ESA’s 2009 recruits to fly into space. A former airline pilot, he is the first French astronaut to visit the Station since ESA’s Léopold Eyharts helped to install Europe’s Columbus module in 2008.

The new arrivals will spend six months in space before returning in Soyuz MS-03 to land in the steppes of Kazakhstan. ESA’s Paolo Nespoli, backup on this mission, is readying himself for launch in 2017 shortly after Thomas returns.

Thomas Pesquet waves farewell to family and friends
Thomas Pesquet waves farewell to family and friends

Related Articles

EveryWear
Enabling & Support

A patch of health

11/09/2017 1871 views 29 likes
Read
Thomas back on Earth
Science & Exploration

Thomas Pesquet returns to Earth

02/06/2017 11079 views 130 likes
Read
The record-breaking Expedition 50 crew
Science & Exploration

Science record set on Space Station

24/04/2017 6142 views 101 likes
Read
Thomas second spacewalk
Science & Exploration

Thomas Pesquet completes second spacewalk

27/03/2017 3075 views 40 likes
Read
Space selfie
Science & Exploration

Two more spacewalks for Thomas Pesquet

17/03/2017 6168 views 85 likes
Read
In the airlock
Science & Exploration

Thomas Pesquet completes spacewalk

16/01/2017 2191 views 28 likes
Read
Thomas with spacesuits
Science & Exploration

Spacewalk for Thomas Pesquet

16/12/2016 11647 views 81 likes
Read
Science & Exploration

ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet arrives at the International S…

19/11/2016 11514 views 71 likes
Read
Science & Exploration

Proxima mission begins

17/11/2016 10743 views 76 likes
Read
Thomas, Oleg, Peggy exams
Science & Exploration

Next stop Baikonur for ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet

28/10/2016 5047 views 65 likes
Read
Peggy, Oleg and Thomas in front of Soyuz
Science & Exploration

Final exams prepare Thomas Pesquet for launch

12/10/2016 6618 views 68 likes
Read
Proxima mission logo
Science & Exploration

Thomas Pesquet closer to space with mission name Proxima

12/11/2015 10683 views 53 likes
Read
Thomas Pesquet during training for INC-49/INC-50 ISS EVA Maintenance run
Science & Exploration

Wanted: a mission name for astronaut Thomas

03/04/2015 12466 views 56 likes
Read
Thomas spacewalk training
Science & Exploration

ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet’s space colleagues announced

10/02/2015 6166 views 52 likes
Read
Thomas Pesquet EVA training
Science & Exploration

ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet will fly to the International …

17/03/2014 7447 views 47 likes
Read
Seatest all clear
Science & Exploration

Seatest underwater adventure

30/09/2013 3274 views 40 likes
Read
Andreas underwater
Science & Exploration

Andreas and Thomas testing sample returns at sea

13/09/2013 3072 views 23 likes
Read
Thomas Pesquet EVA training
Science & Exploration

Underwater for outer space

09/04/2013 4890 views 8 likes
Read

Related Links