Moon objective for Thomas Pesquet before 2030?

Six months after returning to Earth and after several trips to the ISSthe most popular French astronaut, Thomas Pésquetis now eyeing European space exploration missions, which could undertake missions to the Moon between the years 2025 and 2030.

“In low orbit, around the Earth – around 500 km – we have had a continuous human presence for 20 years with the International Space Station” (ISS), reminds AFP this Thursday, May 26, the 44-year-old astronaut in Rome, on the sidelines of a conference at the French embassy in Italy. “Today it is time for us, the institutional astronauts of Europe, our international partners, to go further”, he adds, saying he hopes “let the private sector rush behind us”. “We are clearing this territory so that it is useful to European society”, he said.

When he talks about the private sector, Thomas Pésquet may refer to society Elon Musk’s SpaceX who could come to their aid in order to contribute to the richness of this space exploration. The French astronaut could be involved in the lunar missions of the program Artemis of the NASA – twin sister of Apollo – in reference to the 1969 mission which saw Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong set foot on the Moon. Pesquet also assured that they had “a launcher, a capsule, a destination” and “everything falls into place”. A first unmanned test flight is planned for the summer of 2022 before a first manned flight without landing on the moon around 2024 to secure the different trajectories.

The Apollo 11 mission

The war in Ukraine however, slows down projects related to space exploration. Even though Thomas Pésquet ensures that this does not change anything to the cooperation of the different nationalities of astronauts during the missions, it made more difficult the negotiations between the different agencies of each country. The 44-year-old astronaut is associated with the selection of the next promotion of space explorers where more than 22,000 applications took place, for only four or five people selected. So, next take off for Thomas Pésquet : Direction our Moon?

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