ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet is on his second mission to the International Space Station called Alpha. In this six-minute tour of his home and workplace for six months he describes the changes since his first mission, Proxima, in 2016.
Starting in Europe’s Columbus module, he shows a crew crew quarter installed to accommodate more astronauts living on the Space Station.
Next Thomas is in NASA’s Destiny laboratory, where a new window is available to view Earth. The window itself is not new, but during Proxima it was covered with an experiment for the whole six-month mission, so Thomas could not look out of it.
The third module shown is Japan’s Kibo laboratory. Thomas shows the new glovebox that allows astronauts to run experiments in containment to avoid contamination of the Space Station. This glovebox supplements the European-built Microgravity Science Glovebox that is in NASA’s Destiny lab.
After floating to Node-3 Thomas shows the new toilets that he helped install that will also be used on the lunar Gateway and the water system that recycles up to 95% of all water on the International Space Station.
The tour then shows scenes in Columbus with Thomas and NASA astronaut Megan McArthur floating by on their daily work.
A point-of-view scene passes by NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Mark Vande Hei ending with JAXA astronaut Aki Hoshide looking out of the European-built observatory Cupola – and a return float to end in Columbus with a floating globe.
Over 200 experiments are planned during Thomas’ time in space, with 40 European ones and 12 new experiments led by the French space agency CNES.
Latest updates on the Alpha mission can be found via @esaspaceflight on Twitter, with more details on ESA’s exploration blog via thomaspesquet.esa.int
Background information on the Alpha mission is available at www.esa.int/MissionAlpha with a brochure at www.esa.int/AlphaBrochure