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The astronaut French Thomas Pesquet has been chosen as the crew of the second manned mission of the Crew Dragon , the ship designed by SpaceX to NASA with the goal of being the new vehicle american rival with the Soyuz Russian, giving independence in the space trips to the united States. If everything is adjusted to the planned schedule, Pesquet will travel on board of the probe created by the company Elon Musk in the next spring, while not yet given specific dates.

After being tested successfully on the 1st of June, the Crew Dragon continues with the tests, which will send up to four astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS, for its acronym in English).

The trajectory of Pesquet

“I Am delighted to be the first european to fly aboard the new generation of manned spacecraft americans,” says Pesquet (27 February 1978), who is one of the astronauts of the European Space Agency (ESA) more experienced in active . The French, who earned his engineering specializing in space missions and is graduated as a pilot in 2006 , was admitted as an ESA astronaut in 2010.

Six years later and after participating in several formations and experiments in earth and water, was the representative of the ESA in the Issuance of 50, between November 2016 and June 2017, along with Peggy Whitson (NASA, USA. UU.) and Oleg Novitskiy (RSA, Russia). During his stay, he was very active in social networks, becoming something like an “influencer” space with millions of followers and “likes” in each publication. In fact, his stay on the ISS director Pierre-Emmanuel Le Gof produced a documentary and has participated in movies such as ” Next “, where it is interpreted to itself.

“The Dragon is a machine modern, with amazing abilities. On the other hand, the Soyuz have a history incredible and have allowed us to reach the ISS for years. It is a privilege to be able to fly with both,” she said, regarding Pesquet in a statement released by the ESA. “With a 30% increase in the annual investment, we want all the members of the current body of european astronauts get to enjoy a second mission to the ISS,” say from the space agency.

The mission

The next mission promises to be even more eventful than the first. The crew will go from six members to seven on average, the capsules americans now can carry four astronauts, one more than the Soyuz , and the significant improvements incorporated into the european laboratory will allow researchers in the Earth faster access to experiments in a microgravity environment.

ESA has also taken on a mission aboard the ISS in 2021 for the first flight of ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer . They still have not fixed the details of the mission, but for now, Maurer already is training as a reserve of Pesquet.

“At the end of this year, the International Space Station celebrates 20 years of human presence in the space, but even after two decades of continuous presence in the earth orbit, the space flight is not an easy thing,” admits Frank de Winne , commander of the expedition 21 to the ISS and head of the Centre of European Astronauts in Cologne (Germany). “This assignment will be the first time a european to fly to the Station aboard a capsule Crew Dragon, so it is very special, the time which shall ensure the continuity of the research in the interests of humanity above our head.”

it will Also be the first time in almost a decade that an astronaut european flies from the united States, after Roberto Vittori to travel aboard the shuttle Endeavour to the ISS to deliver the Spectrometer Magnetic Alpha AMS-02 in 2011.