Sophie Adenot, new French astronaut: “the click in my head was to see Claudie Aigneré take off”

This Wednesday, November 23, the European Space Agency (ESA) unveiled the new selection that will enrich its corps of astronauts. Thomas Pesquet is no longer the only Frenchman on board! We have two more Frenchmen: Arnaud Prost, as a reserve astronaut, and Sophie Adenot as a holder. Portrait.

First woman helicopter test pilot, Sophie Adenot, 40, is the second Frenchwoman to become an astronaut after Claudie Haigneré, who had made two flights in the Mir station, then aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Like Thomas Pesquet and many astronauts these days, the new recruit is an excellent linguist – she speaks French, English, German, Spanish and Russian.

Sophie Adenot also likes to send messages, citing Claudie Haigneré or Marie Curie as sources of inspiration. She likes to encourage young people to believe in her. She is also godmother of OSE ISAE, with Thomas Pesquet, an equal opportunity system created by the Higher Institute for Air and Space in Toulouse.

A solid racing career

Like Thomas Pesquet and Arnaud Prost, Sophie Adenot went through ISAE Supaero, a major engineering school in Toulouse. She doubled her degree with a Master’s degree at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), in Boston.

She joined the Air and Space Force in 2005 and notably became a rescue helicopter pilot, including in hostile environments. In 2019, she became a helicopter test pilot in Cazaux, flew more than 3,000 hours flying 22 helicopters.

Sophie Adenot is one of the five holders of the 2022 promotion, to them is added a parastronaut, selected in a feasibility study to fly in space a person with a disability, and 11 reservists, including Arnaud Prost. The latter is also a test pilot, but on the side of the Rafale this time.

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