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Astronaut Thomas Pesket became the first Frenchman to take charge of the International Space Station

Astronaut Thomas Pesket became the first Frenchman to take charge of the International Space Station

One more line on his CV. Thomas Pesket was the first Frenchman to take command of the International Space Station (ISS) on Monday, October 4th. The European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut will actually take charge from Japan’s Akihiko Hoshie (JAXA) during the main handover ceremony for the spacecraft (coded) broadcast live on the NASA channel on Monday evening.

Toulousain, 43, will hold this position until the end of his orbit mission in November, and will be responsible for the other six crew members (three Americans, two Russians and one Japanese) currently based on the ISS.

What will he definitely do? Its mission has nothing to do with flying an airplane because the space station automatically flies 400 km above the ground, and orientation maneuvers are done from the ground, explained AFP Frank de Vinnie, head of the ESA European Space Center in Cologne. .

Captain of the spacecraft “The day begins with entering the conference with the flight directors at the ground (in Houston, Moscow, Munich and Japan in Tsukuba).The Belgian astronaut says he was the first European to hold the post in 2009. “The jobs of the astronauts are distributed, but only the captain must ensure that the entire crew can perform the assigned tasks better, each performing as best as they can. Atmosphere “, He explains.

What to do if things go wrong? The commander has full authority to make decisions in an emergency, without waiting for instructions from the site. Detection of fire, stress or a toxic atmosphere – three defined emergencies – is his responsibility to prioritize saving the lives of the crew. Two spacecraft, the Space X Crew Dragon capsule and the Russian Soyuz spacecraft have come to ISS permanently.

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Being a captain, “As it is in a boat, there is only one master after God.”, Commented at a press conference in March before the Frenchman began his mission in orbit. “Obviously, a lot of things are decided at the control center. But if there’s one voice on the board it’s the captain. “