A French astronaut takes a photo of the Expo 2020 site in Dubai from the ISS
“Before the start of the mission, there is a lot of travel around the world to different space agencies,” said Pesquet, who was the first Frenchman to command the ISS, of his second mission, which was launched from Florida. “We have to train for each type of emergency, like how to deal with a fire, which reacts very differently in weightlessness.”
Not only did he have to familiarize himself with all the systems in place, but he and his crew of four – NASA astronauts Megan MacArthur and Shane Kimbrough, and Japanese astronaut Aki Hoshide – had to maintain the ISS. . Intense daily physical training was also essential to prepare for weightlessness, which leads to muscle loss.
But the preparation was worth it, he said. “We move floating on board the ISS, as we dreamed of as a child. It looks like a science fiction film or a 3D labyrinth”, enthuses Pesquet. “You can move up and down – everywhere – so it takes a few days to adjust.”
In their free time, the crew looked out the windows and took time-lapse photos. “It was amazing to see the beauty unfolding before us – to see the different colors of the deserts and the shapes of the snow glaciers. It’s fun to see the streets of famous cities. I took a picture of Expo in Dubai,” Pasquet said.
“The wonderful thing about space is that there are no borders,” he added. “We may all be from different countries and cultures, but we are all on the same side. ISS is a good example of people around the world cooperating and working together. And we must use these values for the future of the humanity.”