While America has been planning a way for humanity to take its first steps on the moon since 1972, Emmanuel Macron just wants to make sure that the first European to go is the French.
“I have a candidate for you to travel to the moon,” the French president told US Vice President Kamala Harris as the two met at NASA headquarters on Wednesday. Post the video on social media.
It was the competitor standing next to him Thomas Pesqueta 44-year-old French man who was first selected as an astronaut for the European Space Agency in 2009, and has since been to the International Space Station twice.
The US government aims to return humans to the lunar surface around 2025 under the third phase of the Artemis programme. The first mission, the uncrewed Artemis 1, is scheduled to launch into the Pacific Ocean on December 11, with Artemis 2 set to make the same trip around the Moon but with humans on board.
The third Artemis mission, which won’t happen until 2025 at the earliest, will aim to return humans to the lunar surface.
“He wants to go to Artemis 3,” Macron said of Pesquet in the video posted to his personal Twitter account, presenting his compatriot as a willing candidate.
The European Space Agency already provides thrusters for the Artemis missions, which allow NASA’s Orion rocket to maneuver in orbit. Under a barter deal, the technology then secures the Paris-based European Space Agency’s seats on manned space missions.
However, the permanent deal Was not expected To include a place on Artemis 3, however, the management of the European Space Agency, not the national leaders, usually decide which astronauts to send for international missions.
The agency has not yet publicly chosen who Recently enlarged An astronaut position will be chosen for any future lunar mission. However, Pesquet is keen on flying and has previously told Politico that he would like to see Europe initiating on their own Human spaceflight program.
In the video, the French space explorer was full of praise for the “magical” launch of Artemis 1 this month from the Kennedy Space Center.
“That would be fun,” Pesquet told Harris, who heads the National Aerospace Council, of the opportunity to ride Artemis 3.
“Coffee trailblazer. Certified pop culture lover. Infuriatingly humble gamer.”