From 6 May 2021, ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet became the French record-holder for the number of days in orbit, exceeding the 209 days of Jean-Pierre Haigneré.
During his first mission, Proxima, from 17 November 2016 to 2 June 2017, Thomas Pesquet spent 196 days, 17 hours and 50 minutes in space. So he already held the record for the longest stay in space by any French astronaut. Indeed, Jean-Pierre Haigneré spent 188 days, 20 hours and 16 minutes in 1999 on his second flight (Perseus) aboard the Russian Mir station.
However, Jean-Pierre Haigneré, had previously carried out Mission Altair (also on Mir) and clocked up 20 days, 16 hours and 8 minutes. His total time in space is therefore 209 days, 12 hours and 24 minutes.
So, with his 196 days and a few hours on the clock already, from 6 May 2021, Thomas Pesquet exceeded the 209 days of his compatriot and became the French astronaut who has spent most days up there.
If Thomas Pesquet returns, as currently scheduled, on 31 October, his cumulative total from the two flights will be around 387 days!
From its re-opening, Cité de l’espace in Toulouse offers you the chance to share Thomas Pesquet’s daily life with Monitoring Mission Alpha.