The “Faites Voyager vos Histoires” (Let your stories travel) competition, where those aged under 25 write a sequel to the Petit Prince’s adventures received over 8,000 entries! As planned, Thomas Pesquet read an extract of 2 of the 10 winning texts from the ISS.
In January, the French ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet announced “Faites Voyager vos Histoires”, the first writing competition to be launched from the International Space Station. Those aged under 25 were invited to come up with a sequel to the adventures of the Petit Prince, the legendary character created by the famous aviator and writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. It was a huge success with over 8,000 texts being submitted to the judging panel!
The new adventures of the Petit Prince read in space
A pilot himself (with Air France) before becoming an astronaut, Thomas Pesquet is personally attached to the literary work of “Saint-Ex” even taking his complete works into space. “In an astronaut’s job, like that of a pilot, there is a strong technical element. But there is also an amount of dreaming and poetry”, explained the Frenchman.
And what poetry, the 10 competition winners (5 in France and 5 from across the 5 continents) have proved this by skilfully telling the story of the Petit Prince visiting a new planet. As planned, extracts of two “favourite” texts selected by Thomas Pesquet were read on board the International Space Station (video below). These were the tales by Paul-Louis Drouffe and Manon Tendil.
Paul-Louis Drouffe describes, with “much sensitivity” said Thomas Pesquet, the Petit Prince meeting a Great Gardener who lives on a green planet but who digs the clouds. His secret? He is a star grower, making stars bloom that will bring their light and happiness.
Manon Tendil had the idea of a planet covered by lakes inhabited by the cry-baby. This character explains to the Petit Prince that the expanses of water are not his tears because, in fact, he takes care of the world’s sorrows. Tears that then return in the form of rain, dew or snow depending on their origin. This text expresses “a profound poetry between melancholy and hope” says the astronaut.
You can read these texts and those by all the competition winners on the official «Faites voyager vos histoires» website.
The 10 winners are as follows:
“France” category: Ilona DECAESTECKER (aged 14 – Levallois-Perret), Diego GERNAIS (aged 23 – Le Poinçonnet), Elina LAPORTE (aged 10 – Toulouse), Manon TENDIL (aged 14 – Strasbourg) and Antoine PUIG (aged 24 – Saint-Maur-des-Fossés).
“International” category: Selena BIJLENGA-KELMACHTER (aged 16, Buenos-Aires – Argentina), Hélène BIRAGNET (aged 14, London – United Kingdom), Manon CHARLES (aged 23, Clayton – Australia), Paul-Louis DROUFFE (aged 13, Hong Kong – PR China) and Meiya GUJJALU (aged 13, Tamarin – Mauritius).
Under the patronage of the Secretary General of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, Michaëlle Jean, this “Faites Voyager vos Histoires” competition is the result of a partnership between the Labo des Histoires association, the Antoine de Saint Exupéry Youth Foundation, the European Space Agency, the Cité de l’Espace and the Institut Français.
Members of the jury: Thomas Pesquet (Chairman of the jury, ESA astronaut), François d’Agay (President of the Antoine de Saint Exupéry Youth Foundation), Charles Autheman (Delegate General of Labo des histoires), André Borschberg (Co-founder of the Solar Impulse project), Jean-François Clervoy (ESA astronaut), Olivier Chaudenson (Director of the Maison de la Poésie), Jean-Baptiste Desbois, (Executive Director of the Cité de l’Espace), Camille Dorland (Laboratory Technician), Timothée de Fombelle (Author), Claudie Haigneré (ESA astronaut), Marie-Vincente Latécoère (Chairwoman of the Latécoère Foundation) and Bertrand Piccard (Co-founder of the Solar Impulse project).