• Thomas Pesquet returned to Earth, with three other astronauts, on the night of Monday to Tuesday, aboard SpaceX's Dragon capsule.

  • The 43-year-old astronaut led six-month stay in orbit on the International Space Station, a first for a Frenchman.

  • But after 199 days in zero gravity, the effects of returning to earth on the bodies of astronauts are numerous.

Thus ends the second space mission of his career: Frenchman Thomas Pesquet returned to Earth overnight from Monday to Tuesday, after a six-month stay in orbit in the International Space Station which ended with a successful landing off the coast of Florida.

SpaceX's Dragon capsule, which also carried three other astronauts, was slowed down in its dizzying descent by the Earth's atmosphere and then by huge parachutes.

She landed in the Gulf of Mexico at 03:33 GMT Tuesday, at dawn in France.

Scorched by the extreme temperatures experienced during its fall, it was hoisted with the aid of a crane onto a ship which had been stationed at sea nearby.

Dragon's hatch was opened, and the first images of Thomas Pesquet showed him, still sitting on board in his spacesuit, waving a thumbs up.

The astronauts were then taken out one by one, Thomas Pesquet last.

Like the others, he was first placed on a stretcher as a precaution.

The 43-year-old Frenchman spent 199 days in zero gravity.

"A pride to have represented France once again in space!", Tweeted a few hours before departure the one who, through his abundant publications on social networks, offered millions of people a taste of life in orbit.

“Next time, the Moon?” He said.

Thomas Pesquet returned with the other members of the Crew-2 mission - Japanese Akihiko Hoshide and Americans Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur.

They had arrived aboard the space station (ISS) on April 24.

Elon Musk's company ship also carried 240 kg of science equipment and experiments.

The journey to Earth was made in several stages.

The capsule was first undocked at 19:05 GMT.

Then Dragon circled the Space Station for about an hour and a half to photograph the exterior in detail.

On the live video broadcast from NASA, we could then see Thomas Pesquet having removed his suit, taking these photos through a window.

The descent to Earth proper then began, with the journey taking about eight and a half hours in total.

- A little vacation -

The landing was a first for the French astronaut.

During his previous mission in 2016-2017, he landed in the Kazakh steppes with a Russian Soyuz.

Once the astronauts got out of the capsule, a helicopter was to bring them back to dry land.

Thomas Pesquet must undergo rapid medical tests in the United States before flying to Cologne, Germany, where the European Astronaut Center is located.

For three weeks, it will then be subjected to a battery of scientific tests, intended to observe the effect of a long stay in orbit on the human body.

This will not prevent him from seeing his relatives.

Then the astronaut will finally take a little vacation.

The first "for many months," he said Friday at a press conference.

"I even have the impression that it's been years," he added, qualifying the past mission as "very, very intense".

During his stay in orbit, Thomas Pesquet made no less than four extra-vehicular outings ("EVA") outside the station, in particular to install new solar panels.

This brings him to six sorties in total, after the two made during his first mission.

He also conducted many scientific experiments.

"Welcome to Earth! Looking forward to sharing a dinner and learning from this adventure!" Tweeted former NBA star Boris Diaw shortly after the landing.

Crew-2 is the second regular mission carried out by SpaceX on behalf of NASA.

Elon Musk's company allowed the space agency to resume flights from American soil, after the shutdown of space shuttles in 2011.

The crew of Crew-2, which has circled the globe more than 3,000 times, returns to Earth before the arrival on board the ISS of their replacements, four astronauts from Crew-3, whose take-off aboard the ISS. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket has been delayed several times, partly because of the weather.

It will finally take place on Wednesday at 9:03 p.m. local time (02:03 GMT Thursday) from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

In the meantime, the Space Station will not be uninhabited: two Russians and an American remain on board.

On the night of November 8-9, Thomas Pesquet and his team are expected to return to Earth after a six-month mission in space.

The News of 12/13 wondered how the rehabilitation of the astronauts goes on their arrival.

After postponing his departure due to weather conditions, Thomas Pesquet is expected to return to Earth on the night of November 8 to 9.

However, after a six-month mission in space, questions are raised as to how astronauts are rehabilitating on Earth.

We know after several months in space, it is very difficult to get back to the top of your form.

A complicated rehabilitation

In 2017, after several months in space, Thomas Pesquet was very diminished.

It took her two weeks to regain her balance.

The bodily change is also very brutal.

The astronaut lost 1% of bone mass every month.

The latter is 4 cm taller than when you left.

Very profound changes that take place during the return to Earth, which should give Thomas Pesquet and his colleagues a hard time.

NATURAL NEEDS - While they must leave the International Space Station on Monday after another postponement, Thomas Pesquet and his cronies will have to wear diapers on the way back to Earth.

In question, the faulty toilets of the Crew Dragon capsule.

Maxence GEVIN - Posted on November 6, 2021 at 9:49 p.m., updated on November 7, 2021 at 4:14 p.m.

It is an improbable situation that Thomas Pesquet and his colleagues will experience. The French and three other astronauts will leave the International Space Station on Monday, November 8 after spending more than six months in space. Yes, but here it is, the toilets of the Crew Dragon capsule would be defective, reports the British daily 

The Independent

. The leak was reportedly discovered when the astronauts 

"removed floor panels"

in preparation for the return trip. 

Because of this problem, pilots are going to have to wear diapers - or at least an equivalent - during the 20 hours of the flight.

NASA thus speaks of 




US astronaut Megan McArthur said on Friday that the situation was 

"of course not optimal"

 but that the crew would face this inconvenience.

 "Space flights are filled with many little challenges. It is just one more that we will encounter and take care of in our mission. So we are not too worried about it,"

she added. during a briefing from space.

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