A second assignment for the French. Astronaut Thomas Pesquet is scheduled to fly Thursday, April 22, to the International Space Station (ISS) from Cape Canaveral (Florida) at 12:11 French time.
The take-off will be broadcast live on CNEWS in a special issue presented by Sonia Mabrouk starting at 12 noon, with the participation of a group of well-known amateur science journalist Michel Chevalier. Several space exploration professionals will also be invited, notably Didier Schmidt of the European Space Agency (ESA), Director of Biology for Research at CNRS Audrey Dossautor as well as astronaut Claude Hayneri.
On its second flight, it will take off aboard the Crew Dragon capsule, developed by SpaceX for NASA, along with three other crew members: Japanese Akihiko Hoshidei, American Megan MacArthur and Shane Kimbro. A team that the French called the “Wonderful Four” last February.
Several goals to achieve
The goal of the alpha mission, which will last 6 months, is twofold. First, it has conducted nearly 200 scientific experiments, mainly in the medical field with research on the aging of stem cells, in order to better understand genetic diseases. Then, Thomas Pesquet will participate in preparing for future missions, which should take humans to the moon and Mars in the coming years.
In addition to his research, the astronaut will also make history for France. In fact, in the fall, it will become the first living room for a captain of the International Space Station, for a month. On this occasion, in particular, four spacewalks are required to install new solar panels. If he promised that he would once again publish images of the Earth seen from the station, as on his maiden flight, then needless to say that these new functions will require more time, and therefore he will not be available to take out his camera.