November 27, 2021

“It’s part of the job”, Thomas Pesquet reacts after the alert in the ISS

Passengers aboard the International Space Station had to take temporary refuge in their ships docked at the ISS. A simple precaution, believes the French astronaut

Russia destroyed one of its satellites on Tuesday, creating “more than 1,500 orbital debris”. The seven passengers on board the International Space Station had, as a precaution, to take temporary refuge in their ships docked to the ISS to allow their evacuation if necessary.

On the same subject

Russian satellite destroyed: for the ISS, an increased risk of collision

The destruction of a satellite by the Russians generated a cloud of debris near the International Space Station (ISS), with seven astronauts on board. Didier Schmitt, Head of the European Space Agency (ESA), explains how this incident increases the risk of collisions in space

Within a week, Thomas Pesquet could have experienced this situation. The French astronaut returned to Earth on November 9, after a six-month stay in orbit. From the European Astronaut Center in Cologne, Germany, he has not shown much concern about this situation. This is one of the “scenarios for which we are preparing, in the event that we need to get to safety,” explains to FranceInfo the man who is currently in the midst of a rehabilitation phase after his stay in space. We take a lot of precautions […]. As soon as we have the slightest doubt, we prepare for the worst eventuality. “

“We do things in a more virtuous way”

Thomas Pesquet also specifies that the debris cloud did not pass near the Space Station. “They still chose to put themselves in the best conditions – and it was the right decision to make. It forced them to react quite quickly but that’s what we train for, it’s part of the job. “

The astronaut admits, however, that the new arrivals to the Station must have been very surprised by the emergency measures. “It must have felt a little funny for them to get on the space station, find their bearings, start the job slowly, and then be greeted by an emergency like this.”

On RTL, the Frenchman explained that there were rules and agreements to avoid the proliferation of orbital debris. “Now we do things in a more virtuous way. We are thinking of desorbing satellites at the end of their life before they run out of fuel to be able to do so. […] We try to get our debris into the atmosphere […]».