Before the exams
Science & Exploration

Next stop Baikonur for ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet

28/10/2016 4926 views 64 likes
ESA / Science & Exploration / Human and Robotic Exploration / Proxima

ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet, NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson and Roscosmos commander Oleg Novitsky this week passed their final exams on the Soyuz spacecraft that will fly them to the International Space Station in November.

Walking to the Soyuz simulator
Walking to the Soyuz simulator

The trio enacted a launch and docking to the Space Station as well as a return to Earth in a full-size Soyuz mockup. Dressed in the Sokol pressure suits they will wear for launch, the final exam took the whole day. 

Instructors tested the astronauts by programming serious malfunctions for them to handle. Before docking, the radio and control system stopped working – forcing commander Oleg and co-pilot Thomas to perform a manual docking.

Training in the Soyuz simulator
Training in the Soyuz simulator

Later in the day they ‘returned to Earth’ and suffered a leak in the backup oxygen tank and an engine malfunction when firing the thrusters, followed by a malfunction of the spacecraft computer. 

The trio handled all these surprises to the satisfaction of the instructors and were declared ready to fly the Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft.

Thomas says, “We knew to expect some malfunctions and although the launch next month should be a lot smoother it is reassuring to know we work great as a team.”

Traditions

Red Square
Red Square

The next day, Oleg, Peggy and Thomas held a press conference at Star City, near Moscow, Russia, before heading to Moscow’s Red Square. All Soyuz astronauts traditionally pay their respects to fallen cosmonauts by laying flowers at a memorial.

Thomas and his colleagues will leave for the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on 1 November for launch two weeks later. During their time in Baikonur they will be in quarantine to avoid taking bacteria and viruses to the crew already on the Space Station. 

A final check of their spacecraft is planned for 11 November when it is atop of the Soyuz rocket that will launch them into space.

Follow Thomas via thomaspesquet.esa.int and check out the mission blog for updates. ESA will broadcast the launch live – more details to follow. 

Baikonur
Baikonur

Related Articles

EveryWear
Enabling & Support

A patch of health

11/09/2017 1597 views 26 likes
Open item
Thomas back on Earth
Science & Exploration

Thomas Pesquet returns to Earth

02/06/2017 10713 views 127 likes
Open item
The record-breaking Expedition 50 crew
Science & Exploration

Science record set on Space Station

24/04/2017 5779 views 100 likes
Open item
Thomas second spacewalk
Science & Exploration

Thomas Pesquet completes second spacewalk

27/03/2017 2914 views 40 likes
Open item
Space selfie
Science & Exploration

Two more spacewalks for Thomas Pesquet

17/03/2017 5992 views 85 likes
Open item
In the airlock
Science & Exploration

Thomas Pesquet completes spacewalk

16/01/2017 2047 views 27 likes
Open item
Thomas with spacesuits
Science & Exploration

Spacewalk for Thomas Pesquet

16/12/2016 11517 views 80 likes
Open item
Science & Exploration

ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet arrives at the International S…

19/11/2016 11328 views 70 likes
Open item
Science & Exploration

Proxima mission begins

17/11/2016 10552 views 74 likes
Open item
Thomas, Oleg, Peggy exams
Science & Exploration

Next stop Baikonur for ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet

28/10/2016 4926 views 64 likes
Open item
Peggy, Oleg and Thomas in front of Soyuz
Science & Exploration

Final exams prepare Thomas Pesquet for launch

12/10/2016 6493 views 67 likes
Open item
Proxima mission logo
Science & Exploration

Thomas Pesquet closer to space with mission name Proxima

12/11/2015 8286 views 48 likes
Open item
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 11796 views 56 likes
Open item
Thomas spacewalk training
Science & Exploration

ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet’s space colleagues announced

10/02/2015 6068 views 52 likes
Open item
Thomas Pesquet EVA training
Science & Exploration

ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet will fly to the International …

17/03/2014 7244 views 47 likes
Open item
Seatest all clear
Science & Exploration

Seatest underwater adventure

30/09/2013 3162 views 40 likes
Open item
Andreas underwater
Science & Exploration

Andreas and Thomas testing sample returns at sea

13/09/2013 2985 views 23 likes
Open item
Thomas Pesquet EVA training
Science & Exploration

Underwater for outer space

09/04/2013 4543 views 8 likes
Open item

Related Links