- Title: French astronaut Pesquet phones home from ISS
- Date: 23rd November 2016
- Summary: COLOGNE, GERMANY (NOVEMBER 23, 2016) (REUTERS) AUDIENCE APPLAUDING
- Embargoed: 8th December 2016 18:50
- Keywords: Thomas Pesquet International Space Station interview
- Location: COLOGNE, GERMANY & IN SPACE
- City: COLOGNE, GERMANY & IN SPACE
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Science,Space Exploration
- Reuters ID: LVA00959O1BGN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The latest team of astronauts to board the International Space Station are doing well and feeling positive, one of the crew said on Wednesday (November 23).
"We have adapted very quickly, nobody has been ill, everybody feels great," French astronaut Thomas Pesquet said via video link to the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne.
The 38-year-old representing the European Space Agency (ESA) is a relative novice compared to the veteran fliers in the crew that blasted off from Kazakhstan last week.
It includes Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy and American Peggy Whitson, the oldest and most experienced woman to fly in space. The 56-year-old biochemist and NASA's former chief astronaut is making her third trip to the station, a $100 million research laboratory that flies about 250 miles (420 km) above Earth.
Pesquet said that despite years of training and preparing, the experience of being on the ISS was even better than he had imagined.
"The thing that strikes you is the sense of freedom. You can really do what you want. The other thing that strikes you is the new way of working - you can't let go of your tools or your microphone for example because it will end up in a completely different place from where you left it, which happened to me 30 seconds before we went live here. But overall I find it very practical, it's really a new way of working that's actually much more comfortable than on earth," he said.
Pesquet said that there had been some setbacks already - including a broken toilet - but he was optimistic about the rest of the six-month mission.
"I told myself that it's happened at the beginning of the mission so we have used up our bad luck and from now on everything will run smoothly until the end. At least I hope," he said.
The combined crew will be one of the last six-member teams to live on the station for a while. Beginning in March, Russia plans to cut the number of cosmonauts serving on the station to two from three, following delays in launching a new science laboratory. The Multipurpose Laboratory Module is now expected to be launched in 2018.
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