A graduate of the École Nationale Supérieure de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace (Toulouse, France), he first worked as an aerospace engineer in Spain and for the French space agency (CNES). In 2009, he was the youngest of the six Europeans selected to form the new class of ESA astronauts. Basic training includes fluid science, material engineering, medical training and intercultural communication, among others. In 2014 he was assigned to a six-month long mission on the International Space Station as a flight engineer.
After two years of intense training in Europe, North America, Russia and Japan, he launched from Baikonur on November 17, 2016. Alongside Soyuz Commander Oleg Novitskiy and the soon-to-be NASA record holder Peggy Whitson, he took part in an international crew composed of scientists, engineers and pilots. Thomas Pesquet worked daily on scientific experiments in the Station’s cutting edge laboratories in a variety of fields from neurology to biology and took part in the maintenance of the spaceship, orbiting at 28000 km/h. After 196 days in space, he returned to Earth in June 2017.
He took advantage of the wide audience enabled by the power of social networks to keep the public updated on his mission and alert them to the dangers of global warming.