Paris, 8 November 2016
Call for Media: Press events for ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet's flight to the International Space Station
On 17 November ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet will become the 10th French astronaut to be launched into space, alongside Roscosmos commander Oleg Novitsky and NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson.
Journalists and representatives of social media are invited to watch the launch in France at La Géode, Paris, and La Cité de l'Espace, Toulouse. Both events are organised in conjunction with France's CNES space agency.
Thomas will be the first French astronaut to visit the Space Station since ESA astronaut Léopold Eyharts helped to install the Europe's Columbus module in 2008.
A former airline pilot, Thomas will travel with his two crewmates to arrive at the Station, to be welcomed by the current resident crew of three. They will travel in a Soyuz MS spacecraft, a recently upgraded version of Russia's workhorse that has
been in service for almost 50 years.
The trio will blast off from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan at 20:20 GMT and will arrive at the Station two days later.
Science is an important part of the mission. Thomas will conduct a wide range of experiments on the Station, an out-of-this world research outpost that serves as a stepping stone for human exploration.
His Proxima mission is the ninth long-duration mission for an ESA astronaut. It is named after the closest star to the Sun - continuing a tradition of naming missions with French astronauts after stars and constellations.
During Proxima, Thomas will perform more than 50 scientific experiments for ESA and CNES as well as take part in many research activities for the other Station partners.
Education and inspiring youngsters is another important part of his mission. Thomas is determined to make Proxima an exciting adventure for all his followers and work as an ambassador for science- and space-based careers.
School activities running alongside Thomas's mission include elements of science or technology, from computer coding, growing crystals and maths demonstrations to fitness and nutrition.
Media wishing to attend one of these events, should register as follows:
ESA: Nicola Firth firstname.lastname@example.org
CNES: Pascale Bresson email@example.com
La Cite de l'Espace
Florence Seroussi firstname.lastname@example.org
Social media reporters should check here http://www.esa.int/ESA/Connect_with_us/Application_for_ESA_Social_Media_Credential
that they meet the eligibility criteria and register at https://myconvento.com/public/event_register/do_register/1493157
by 11 November.
For these purposes, social media representatives are defined as bloggers or other social networking users who actively collect, report, analyse and disseminate news and information on digital media platforms.
ESA will cover the launch live on www.esa.int
Subscribe at http://livestream.com/ESA/
to get notified ahead of the event about when streaming starts.
For live updates throughout the launch period, follow @esaspaceflight @esa and facebook.com/ESA. The official hashtag is #Proxima
Also follow Thomas on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. https://twitter.com/thom_astro https://www.facebook.com/ESAThomasPesquet https://www.instagram.com/thom_astro/
A Flickr album is available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/thom_astro/
ESA TV will provide broadcasters with a live satellite relay of the launch. Several stories have also been prepared on the mission:
- ESA Astronauts training for ISS, 20 September
- Thomas Pesquet training at Star City, 25 October
- ESA Astronaut Thomas Pesquet, 28 October
- Thomas Pesquet, Mission to ISS, 4 November
- Proxima : Latest from Baikonur, 17 November (tbc)
Details at: http://www.esa.int/esatv/Television
The latest high-resolution images can be found at:
ESA's Multimedia Gallery: http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Keywords/People/Thomas_Pesquet