Astronaut Thomas Pesquet on stress… sharing with humility!

 In News, News Education, News Exploration, News UltraPerformance

Thomas Pesquet really surprised me when we talked about the stress of an astronaut on a mission.

And this has nothing to do with the #Gravity or #InterStellar movies!!!
And yet…

Thomas was preparing his 2nd mission. Everything is under control. Every move is rehearsed as much as necessary. Because it has be accomplished with almost no emotional stress. I could personally observe this type of measurements (HRV) during our speed records with Eric Barone.

In spite of all this preparatory work, Thomas confided to me that he had a very “scary” moment.

As planned, he found himself in a spacesuit, at the end of the 17m articulated arm, manipulated by his colleague Megan from the ISS with 2 joysticks… alone in the dark of space, with only our blue planet as a reference point, 400 km below him,

Against all odds, he was overcome with anxiety and a huge feeling of vertigo. A form of animal instinct caught up with him in this very hostile environment.

He explained to me that he managed this critical moment totally unexpected. And of course he “did the job”. But thinking about Thomas Pesquet on stress is not usual.

Even if we are very well prepared, without this form of humility towards our own reactions, we can put ourselves in great danger.

But in our society, is humility a real strength or rather a weakness?

Update 2024

Another angle here with my NASA astronaut friend Jeanette Epps has joined the ISS.

“We studied together at the University of Maryland in 1994-95 with Jeanette and her twin sister Janet…

It wasn’t easy for a Marseillais who wasn’t very fluent in English to pronounce their names correctly, but it made them laugh, and they’d take me back, laughing out loud! “Maaark!!!!…

My friendship with Jeanette Epps is like a piece of my childhood dreams that she carries with all her might through the ups and downs of life! We exchanged a lot after the cancellation of her first flight of 2018, and unconsciously, in complete trust, we knew how to support each other in our challenges. She promised me that in 2019. So, in the words of an astronaut, Jeanette invited me and her closest relations to attend her departure in March 2024. It’s from Cape Canaveral to the International Space Station, the ISS, and there we’ll meet again. It’s such a touching gesture for me, just a few hours away from fulfilling her greatest dream! The icing on the cake is that I’ve been able to bring my mom along – it’s the first trip just the two of us!”

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Crédit Photo #ESA / #ThomasPesquet

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