“We’re all candidates”: seven European astronauts able to go to the Moon

“We’re all candidates”: seven European astronauts able to go to the Moon

The European Area Company (ESA) offered its staff of seven astronauts in Paris on Wednesday, together with Thomas Pesquet, prepared to coach to discover the Moon as a part of the American Artemis program, amongst which just one might tread the lunar floor. . The candidates – Frenchman Thomas Pesquet, Germans Alexander Gerst and Matthias Maurer, Italians Luca Parmitano and Samantha Cristoforetti, Dane Andreas Mogensen and Briton Tim Peake – have carried out no less than one mission in orbit aboard the Worldwide Area Station ( ISS), 400 km above the Earth.

They characterize “the equal of 4.5 years in orbit, and 98 hours of extravehicular outings”, defined Philippe Willekens, head of ESA, throughout a press convention on the Worldwide Astronautical Congress (IAC ) in Paris.

Amongst them, solely three will probably be chosen for the Lunar Gateway, the longer term station in lunar orbit, and just one to stroll on the lunar floor, by the tip of the last decade. However the ESA has not but chosen.

“We’re all candidates and what issues is to go there as a staff. Look, we’re all sporting the identical t-shirt”, commented Thomas Pesquet, who along with his colleagues Alexander Gerst, Matthias Maurer and Luca Parmitano sported a navy blue polo shirt flanked by the ESA and Artemis logos. Samantha Cristoforetti, on a mission aboard the ISS, and Andreas Mogensen, able to take off for the station, spoke from a distance.

ESA (22 Member States) participates within the American program to return to the Moon Artemis, particularly with its ESM service module positioned below the Orion capsule of the primary mission which is because of take off quickly, with out an astronaut on board.

For the subsequent Artemis flights, manned this time, the European company has already negotiated the sending of three of its astronauts to the Lunar Gateway. Then, if the experiment succeeds, “there will probably be a fortunate one” who might tread the lunar floor, defined to AFP David Parker, director of human and robotic exploration at ESA.

A European on the Moon can be “one thing inspiring for Europe, a powerful signal to say ‘right here we’re, we maintain our place within the area world, and in a cooperative manner'”, commented Thomas Pesquet. Who mentioned he was “enthusiastic” concerning the idea of the European manned car Susie, which ArianeGroup will current on the ESA ministerial convention on the finish of November.

“With a European on the Moon, I hope {that a} united Europe will turn into extra of a actuality than it’s at present,” added the German Matthias Maurer.

Astronaut coaching is growing, particularly on the European Astronaut Middle in Cologne, Germany, the place a simulator of the Selene floor and its “so aggressive” mud is being constructed, he defined.

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