Proxima Mission launch – Pesquet on way to ISS – video

Proxima Mission launch

Proxima Mission launch. French astronaut Thomas Pesquet launched into space November 17. Blast-off happened at 8.30pm GMT. This is in partnership with Russia and the USA. Video NASA

He is the tenth french astronaut to travel in space.

Thomas was not alone. Russia’s, Roscosmos commander, Oleg Novitsky and NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson were with him on this mission. This is her third,

Their launch was from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakstan on the Soyuz MS-03.  This is Russia’s old workhorse that has recently been upgraded for this latest flight after having been in service for almost 50 years.

Thomas’s mission is called Proxima and is the ninth long-duration journey in orbit for the European Space Agency astronaut. Apparently, it is a tradition to name such ventures after the closest star to the Sun or a constellation.

Like previous astronauts he will have a lot of work to do.  There are around 50 scientific experiments Thomas will have to perform for ESA and the french space agency, CNES.  And he will have to take part in a number of research activities for the other Space Station partners.

He is expected to be kept very busy with such a full programme and it won’t be long before he is ready to return to earth.


The french astronaut has spent seven years training and studying for the mission. There are many exercises and tests that need to be completed. He went to America and Russia for a number of challenging and gruelling activities.  But he has loved every minute of it.

It has been Thomas’s ambition to be an astronaut and was thrilled when he was given the chance by the European Space Agency to carry out his aim.

During his years of training he and Tim Peake became good friends and remain in touch

We all wish him the best of luck on his ESA and ISS mission in orbit.  We look forward to receiving results of the work carried out by him.  A lot of it will be educational and of value to science


  1. French Astronaut Set for ISS Mission - launch Nov 17 - Live | YNUKtvYNUKtv - November 18, 2016

    […] a background as an aerospace engineer and commercial pilot, Thomas Pesquet is the youngest member of ESA’s astronaut corps. He has been through some gruelling […]

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