Thomas Pesquet returns to Earth after more than six months aboard the ISS

Thomas Pesquet returns to Earth after more than six months aboard the ISS

9 November at 04:33 CET, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endeavour capsule splashed down off the coast of Florida, safely returning to Earth ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet, JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur at the end of a mission of more than six months on the International Space Station (ISS).

9 November at 04:33 CET, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endeavour capsule splashed down off the coast of Florida, safely returning to Earth ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet, JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur at the end of a mission of more than six months on the International Space Station (ISS). After undocking from the station at 20:05 CET the previous night, the crew’s return trip took more than eight hours.

Initially scheduled for 13:00 CET on Monday 8 November, Crew-2’s return had to be delayed due to unfavourable weather conditions for the capsule’s recovery, with high winds forecast in the planned splashdown zone in the Gulf of Mexico.

During his second mission on the ISS, named Alpha, French astronaut Thomas Pesquet accomplished some 200 scientific experiments, 40 of them European of which nearly half were monitored by the CADMOS centre for the development of microgravity applications and space operations at CNES, which also initiated and prepared 12 of these scientific, technological and educational experiments.

Through this programme of experiments, CNES is seeking to further cutting-edge science on the ISS and continue advancing knowledge in space for Earth. It is also supporting French scientific research and technology advances with an eye on future exploration of the solar system and deep-space missions.

“In addition to the host of scientific experiments he conducted on the ISS and his photos of the planet, our common home, reminding us that preserving it is the biggest challenge facing us this century, Thomas Pesquet’s work has also awoken in us the stuff of dreams, poetry and unfailing optimism that is so bound up with the space adventure,” said CNES Chairman & CEO Philippe Baptiste. He added: “But France’s ESA astronaut was also backed by a top-flight French team of women and men that monitored the experiments operated on the ISS from CNES. We’re proud to have federated this ecosystem and accomplished this mission together.”

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