Sophie Adinot, a life dedicated to one goal: to become an astronaut


Did you consider that for a second? France has a new space traveler. Sophie Adinot It is part of the new promotion for European astronauts, chosen from nearly 23,000 candidates, including 7,000 French. A list revealed by the European Space Agency (ESA) on November 23. “The first feelings were an explosion of joy associated with a wave of serenity,” she said at mic Europe 1 on Friday.

For me, it’s an inner fire.

“For me, it’s an inner fire, a calling that, since I was little, makes me dream.” The engineer has focused her whole life on this passion, her career, her hobbies, everything calculated so that one day she will be able to be this French astronaut. “I read dozens of biographies of astronauts trying to find inspiration [pour savoir] How did they get there,” she slips.

Selected during the recruitment drive launched in February 2021, the recruitment process has not been easy. “There were six phases, choices in the file, cognitive tests, psychological interviews, individual and group tests where we were pressured to see how we reacted,” she advised, detailing a reading storyboard. In a Thomas Pesquet suit By Marion Montaigne for more on these steps.

Excellence course

At the age of 40, the engineer has a distinguished career. In 2004, when she was only 22 years old, she obtained a degree in engineering from the National School of Aeronautics and Astronautics (Isae Supaero), the same school as Thomas Pesquet. She then entered as an engineer at Airbus Helicopters in Marignane working on ****pit design. “I fell in love with the helicopters I was working on so much that I thought to myself ‘Well, instead of me being in my office, designing the helicopter cabins, I’m going to make the entire ****pit my office,’ was a crazy bet! she remembers.

At the age of 23, she joined the Air Force and participated in numerous search and rescue flights in hostile terrain. Sophie Adenot doesn’t stop there. In 2018, she became the first woman to test pilot helicopters in France to test prototypes. In 2022, she becomes the eleventh French astronaut and the second French woman astronaut after Claudie Haignéry.

explorer spirit

So, ascending into the sky wasn’t scary to her even if she realized that it was also about a hostile land. “Every flight is a test flight, and I know that as well as a test pilot. There’s a huge part of the unknown where you’ll also have to improvise, but there’s also a lot of action. When you go on an exploration mission, we’re in business. Of course, we tell ourselves it’s an aspirational mission.” And somewhere, giving a little stage fright,” she says at the Europe 1 mic.

Sophie Adenot is a quiet force, a quiet voice that expresses itself with humility, and for her space adventure never happens on its own. This adventure is “technically difficult, humanly speaking, if we’re not a team, we can’t do anything.”

Learn all about the astronaut profession

The way to space is not tomorrow, Sophie Adenot will first have to train and move to Cologne, Germany, where the European Cosmonautics Center is located. A companion and mother of a young child, she will then be trained in space sciences and will start training with lots of sports and survival courses or even equivalent flights. The French should go into space for the first time in four or five years.


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