French astronauts Thomas Pesquet and American Shane Kimbrough departed today, Friday, on their third flight into space within more than a week to accomplish their mission by placing a new solar panel outside the International Space Station.
Like the previous two flights, it is expected to last about six and a half hours.
And Thomas Pesquet, via the “Instagram” website, explained that repeating missions at this speed is “a common thing”, as it contributes to preparing the space suits in the best way, “but what is not common is that we do this number of missions with the same person.”
Pesquet and Kimbrough had conducted two space missions side by side in 2017. In sum, this is the fifth space flight for the French astronaut.
“No matter how many times we get out of the International Space Station, it never becomes routine. Everyone is fully focused on the third round” of the mission, Pesquet wrote, a few hours before launching into space, via Twitter.
The two astronauts activated the internal battery of their space suits at 11:52 GMT, marking the official launch of the mission.
After their arrival at the International Space Station at the end of last April, Pesquet and Kimbro were scheduled to conduct only two space missions, but this third mission was added after a series of technical problems during the first flight.