October 3, 2017

Thomas Pesquet post-mission tour - Proxima: CNES serving science

Tuesday 3 October at the Toulouse Space Centre (CST), Thomas Pesquet came to see the managers of the experiments developed by CNES for the Proxima mission. Together, they reviewed how the experiments went on the ground and aboard the International Space Station (ISS), and discussed initial lessons learned. CADMOS is the unit at CNES that developed and monitored the seven CNES experiments on Thomas’ mission. No fewer than 35 engineers were involved. For the CNES team, Proxima is a total success that has confirmed the expertise, technical know-how and passion driving the French space sector.

The seven CNES experiments on the Proxima mission were:
·    Aquapad: to achieve quicker and more-accurate analysis of water potability.
·    ECHO: enabling the probe of an ultrasound scanner to be operated remotely by a doctor.
·    EveryWear: a portable, connected health assistant able to collect an astronaut’s medical, physiological and personal data.
·    Exo-ISS: giving the opportunity to a group of pupils to learn more about the effects of gravity on plant growth, crystal growth and catalytic reactions.
·    Fluidics: to analyse the behaviour of fluids on spacecraft in real microgravity conditions.
·    MATISS: to characterize smart surfaces made from materials that limit growth of germs.
·    PERSPECTIVES: to closely analyse alterations to visio-motor functions using virtual reality.

Thomas Pesquet returned to Earth on 2 June, but his science programme is far from over. In the months ahead, a series of tests is planned to ascertain how his body readapts to life on Earth. The Proxima mission has put CADMOS in the spotlight and underlined its expertise. The seven experiments performed by the French astronaut have enabled new partnerships to be forged, giving new momentum to CNES’s projects. Drawing on its 24 years of experience, CADMOS is continuing to prepare future scientific programmes and its engineers are now working to ready for the flight of European astronaut Paolo Nespoli.

In addition to the extremely positive science results accomplished, Thomas Pesquet took the opportunity to meet and talk with more than 1,000 employees at the CST about the highlights of his stay aboard the ISS.

On the sidelines of Thomas Pesquet’s visit, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “The success of the Proxima mission is something that CNES can take pride in, particularly the CADMOS team that worked with Thomas throughout the mission. Besides advancing science, the successful experiments performed aboard the ISS have led to numerous cooperation agreements with other partners in the world of space and demonstrated CNES’s ability to innovate for the benefit of research and society.”

Fabienne Lissak    Head of Media    Tel +33 (0)1 44 76 78 37     fabienne.lissak@cnes.fr
Pascale Bresson    Press Officer     Tel +33 (0)1 44 76 75 39    pascale.bresson@cnes.fr
Raphaël Sart    Press Officer     Tel +33 (0)1 44 76 74 51     raphael.sart@cnes.fr