Thomas Pesquet

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Thomas Pesquet
Thomas Pesquet EMU training.jpg
ESA/CNES Spationaut
Nationality French
Status Active
Born (1978-02-27) February 27, 1978 (age 37)
Rouen, France
Other occupation
Engineer, Airline pilot
Selection 2009 ESA Group
Mission insignia
ESA Astronaut Class 2009 patch Vincent Gibaud.jpg

Thomas Pesquet (born 27 February 1978) is a French aerospace engineer, pilot, and European Space Agency spationaut. Pesquet was selected by ESA as a candidate in May 2009,[1] and he successfully completed his basic training in November 2010.[2] In 2016 Pesquet is scheduled to join the International Space Station as a crew member for Expedition 50.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Pesquet was born in Rouen, France and considers Paris his hometown. He is the youngest of two brothers. Pesquet is a black belt in judo and lists basketball, jogging, swimming, and squash as his favorite sports. He is an outdoor and adventure activities enthusiast, and enjoys mountain biking, kite surfing, sailing, skiing and mountaineering. He also has extensive experience with, and holds advanced licenses in both scuba diving and parachuting. His other interests include traveling, playing the saxophone, and reading.


Pesquet graduated from the Lycée Pierre Corneille in Rouen,[4] France, in 1998.

In 2001, he received a master’s degree from the École nationale supérieure de l'aéronautique et de l'espace in Toulouse, France, majoring in space systems and space vehicle mechanics. He spent his final year before graduation at the École Polytechnique de Montréal, Canada, as an exchange student on the Aeronautics and Space Master.

Pesquet graduated from the Air France flight school in 2006. This led to an Airline Transport Pilot License-Instrument Rating (ATPL-IR).

He speaks French, English, Spanish, German and Russian, and is a member of the French Aeronautics and Astronautics Association (3AF), and of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).


From October 2001, he worked as a spacecraft dynamics engineer on remote sensing missions for GMV, S.A. in Madrid, Spain.

Between 2002 and 2004, Pesquet worked at the French space agency, CNES, as a research engineer on space missions autonomy. He also carried out various studies on future European ground segment design and European space technology harmonization. From late 2002, he was a representative of CNES at CCSDS, the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems, working on the topic of cross-support between international space agencies.

A private pilot, he was selected in 2004 for Air France's flight training programme. He went on to become a commercial pilot for the French airline, where he started flying the Airbus A320 in 2006. He has logged more than 2000 hours flying time on various commercial airliners, and has qualified as a type-rating flight instructor on the A320, and as a Crew Resource Management instructor.

Pesquet was selected as a European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut in May 2009. He joined ESA in September 2009 and successfully completed Astronaut Basic Training in November 2010.

On 10 June 2014, NASA announced that Pesquet served as an aquanaut aboard the Aquarius underwater laboratory during the NEEMO 18 undersea exploration mission, on 21 July 2014 lasting nine days.[5][6]

In 2014 Thomas was chosen by ESA for a six-month mission to the International Space Station starting in December 2016.[7] Thomas is also the backup astronaut to ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen who will fly to the International Space Station on a 10-day flight in September 2015.

Pesquet is the youngest member of the European Astronaut Corps.


External links[edit]