European Space Agency shows their weekly activity through the lens
ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet arrived at the International Space Station last Saturday with Soyuz spacecraft commander Oleg Novitsky
and NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson. This picture is the first he posted on social media, with the comment: “The International Space
Station is amazing: better than in my best dreams. I wish everybody could get the chance to come up here!”
The image was taken in the Space Station’s Cupola observatory, one of ESA’s contributions to the orbital outpost. Built in Italy, the
module features seven windows that are quadruple-glazed and shutters that can be closed for protection.
Although Thomas is only at the start of his six-month Proxima mission, he has already helped Station commander Shane Kimborough to
monitor the robotic arm unberthing the Cygnus supply vessel – the golden panels in the background of this picture are on that craft.
Cupola is used to monitor spacecraft arrivals and departures and to operate the 16 m-long arm. It also offers breathtaking views of our
The International Space Station Expedition 50 crew gather around the dining table in the Zvezda module for a Thanksgiving dinner.
ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet (third from right) posted this image on social media, commenting: "The crew of Expedition 50 wishes you a happy Thanksgiving! And yes it’s turkey we’re eating, can’t you tell?".
Thomas arrived at the ISS on 19 November 2016 together with NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson (right, back) and Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky (left).
They were welcomed on board by NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough (right, front) and Roscosmos cosmonauts Andrei Borisenko (second from left) and Sergei Ryzhikov (third from left).
Thomas' Proxima mission is the ninth long-duration mission for an ESA astronaut. It is named after the closest star to the Sun, continuing a tradition of naming missions with French astronauts after stars and constellations.
During Proxima, Thomas will perform around 50 scientific experiments for ESA and France’s space agency CNES as well as take part in many research activities for the other Station partners. The mission is part of ESA’s vision to use Earth-orbiting spacecraft as a place to live
and work for the benefit of European society while using the experience to prepare for future voyages of exploration further into the Solar System.
Paolo Nespoli's VITA mission name unveiled
ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli will be launched to the International Space Station next year for his third spaceflight. The name and logo for his mission were announced at an event in Rome, Italy, on 24 November 2016.
Vita stands for Vitality, Innovation, Technology and Ability and was chosen by Italy’s ASI space agency, which is providing the mission through a barter agreement with NASA.
In Italian, 'vita' means 'life', reflecting the experiments that Paolo will run and the philosophical notion of living in outer space – one of the most inhospitable places for humans