In a few weeks, Thomas Pesquet will once again fly to the stars. Or rather, to the International Space Station (ISS), accompanied by three other astronauts, which NASA made its official offer on Monday, during an online press conference. On board the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, the French will travel with two Americans, a woman and a man, and a Japanese.
Megan MacArthur, deputy mission commander, Megan MacArthur, will pilot the Dragon capsule, according to NASA. This will be your first time on board the International Space Station. An astronaut since 2000, the American participated in the maintenance mission of the Hubble telescope, and he repaired his mechanical arm in 12 days.
Mission Commander Shane Kimbro, who will be in charge of the capsule’s flight, will be from its launch until it reaches the International Space Station. The American astronaut, who will play the engineer once aboard the International Space Station, joined NASA in 2004 and already has several space flights under his belt. The US Army veteran has 189 days in space and six sorties.
They will be joined by Akihiko Hoshid, an astronaut from JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency). He will assist Megan MacArthur and Shane Kimbro during the launch, flight and ascent of the Dragon capsule. The Japanese astronaut and space engineer visited the International Space Station twice, in 2008 and 2012.
“We have a lot of things to do there.”
As for Thomas Pesquet, he says he is “keen” to return to space with his three fellow missionaries. “We can’t wait to start work. We have a lot of things to do out there on board the International Space Station. We’re very excited,” the astronaut told a NASA news conference.
At the summit, Thomas Pisquet will split his time between maintenance of the International Space Station and scientific experiments, particularly with stem cells. The French astronaut, who spent 196 days on board the International Space Station in 2017, will conduct a series of investigations for the CNES (National Center for Space Studies). France Inter.
Thomas Pesquet, Megan MacArthur, Shane Kimbro and Akihiko Hoshide trained together for about a year to be ready for the assignment. The capsule that will take them to the International Space Station is slated to launch around April 20 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The French astronaut must stay in space for six months before descending to Earth.
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