Sophie Adenot, a French woman in an elite group of astronauts

Sophie Adenot, a French woman in an elite group of astronauts
Sophie Adenot, a member of the new class of ESA astronauts, at the ephemeral Grand Palais in Paris on November 23, 2022.

What do girls dream about? According to Frenchman Sophie Adenot, whose selection into the European Space Agency’s (ESA) highly-restricted body of astronauts was announced in Paris on Wednesday, November 23, some Space Dream: “I thought it was very interesting.”says in English in his video presentation published by ASE. “Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always had this curiosity of an explorershe adds. I loved to discover and learn new things. When I was growing up, I had this passion for science, research and technology. » Then his will“Explore the Limits of the Second Dimension”i.e. the vertical dimension.

Then, go to the sky. This initially involved studying engineering at the Higher Institute of Aeronautics and Space (ISAE-Supaéro), where, according to his CV, he specialized. “In Aerodynamics of Spacecraft and Aircraft”Later in 2004, he received his Master of Science degree from the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston. Immediately, Sophie Adenot entered the working life as an engineer at Airbus Helicopters in Marignane (Bouches-du-Rhône), where she worked. About helicopter cockpit design. “I loved helicopter cockpits so much that I wanted to make them my office”she says.

In 2005, at the age of 23, Sophie Adenot chose the Air Force. After training as a helicopter pilot, he participated in several search and rescue flights in hostile terrain and then, in 2012, joined the squadron in Villacoublay (Yvelines) responsible for transporting the Head of State, Ministers Government or foreign delegations. He then moved to the United Kingdom to obtain his helicopter test pilot diploma, which he has since 2019 at La Teste-de-Buch. He is stationed at the Cazaux Air Base Flight Test Center located in (Gironde).

Obstructive trend

With three thousand hours of flying in twenty-two types of helicopters, an airline pilot’s license, another as a glider pilot, and finally as a military parachutist, Sophie Adenot seemed to have circled the plane. So he had to go where there was no air, ie space. Like nearly 23,000 others, he applied to join ESA’s Incentive for New Astronauts, a first for Thomas Pesquet in 2009.

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The examination lasted eighteen months in six long stages, including several medical, psychotechnical and psychological tests. As summarized in an article published by Guillemette Coughlin-Coch and Remy Canton of the National Center for Space Studies, ConversationAfter the first skimming, a few hundred “survivors” were infected “Collaborative experiments to better understand everyone’s personalities in different contexts. Here, the aim is obviously not to select the biggest egos, but those who excel in a team, make better decisions under pressure, are resilient, patient, persistent, calm, organized and have good tolerance. Limited intervals. »

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