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Who is Sophie Adenot, the French woman who will go to the ISS in 2026 ?


Sophie Adenot has just been chosen by ESA, the European space agency, to be part of a mission to the ISS (the international space station). She is expected to fly in 2026 alongside other American and Russian astronauts. Her flight is scheduled for spring 2026, she will be the first astronaut in her class to take to the air. It will spend six months in orbit around the Earth.

Who is Sophie Adenot ?

Sophie Adenot is 41 years old. She is a former helicopter pilot. She was a member of ESA’s Class of 2022. La Bourguignonne also has a double diploma. She began her university career near Supaero, in Toulouse, before finishing it in the Cambridge branch of the prestigious MIT.

She worked for several years for the Air and Space Force. After attending the Salon-de-Provence Air School, she became a helicopter pilot for military rescue missions in the Pyrenees. She also worked for several years transporting public figures.

Her life changed for the first time in 2017. Sophie Adenot then joined ENEPR. She becomes the first female helicopter test pilot. After five years where her work was noticed, she left her position to become an intern at ESA. She then begins her second life, that of an astronaut.

Selected for the 2022 class of the European Space Agency, Sophie Adenot will learn the basics of the profession for two years in Cologne, Germany. She received her astronaut certificate on April 22 during an official ceremony. One month later, to the day, she was assigned to her first mission to the ISS.

A logical, but historic appointment

Since the announcement of her selection in 2022, there was little doubt that Sophie Adenot would one day fly. But all doubts are now resolved, she therefore becomes the second French astronaut in history. 30 years after Claudie Haigneré and her 25 days spent in space. A record that she should quickly beat during her mission to the ISS, Sophie Adenot having left for six months to the international space station.

In recent hours, the reactions have been linked. The Minister of Research, Sylvie Retailleau, spoke in particular of “real pride”, calling Sophie Adenot a “model”. The main interested party did not hide her enthusiasm from the NASA control center where she is training.

On Twitter it was her compatriot Thomas Pesquet who spoke. In his message (above), he also congratulates Raphaël Liégeois on his journey. The Belgian astronaut has also been confirmed for a space mission to the ISS in 2026. He will replace Sophie Adenot at the end of her six-month mission.

European pride

More than a personal or national success, the appointment of Sophie Adenot to this mission in the ISS has continental repercussions. Josef Aschbacher, the director general of the ESA, was one of the first to rejoice. He notably confirmed that all the astronauts of the 2022 class “ will fly before 2030 ”.

Very good news for European space which counts now 11 astronauts in its ranks. This is the largest workforce in the history of the agency.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116