The new French astronaut, Sophie Adenot, is a former student of ISAE-SUPAERO. The Toulouse engineering school has also trained Thomas Pesquet and four other European Space Agency astronauts.
Like Thomas Pesquet before her, Toulouse has counted in the career of Sophie Adenot. The new European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut studied at the ISAE-SupAéro school, the Higher Institute of Aeronautics and Space, where she obtained an engineering degree in 2004 with a specialization in the flight dynamics of spacecraft and aircraft. The reserve astronauts, Italian Anthea Comellini and Frenchman Arnaud Prost, are also ISAE-SupAéro graduates.
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“With three out of seven astronauts in the previous promotion (Thomas Pesquet, Luca Parmitano, Samantha Cristoforetti) and three others today, we are proud to say that, to be an astronaut, it is better to come to us!”, says Olivier Lesbre, general manager of ISAE-SupAéro. “We are happy that our young people have taken advantage of the education received here to soar. This is a reason for satisfaction for the whole team, which still maintains relations with our former students, in particular through the OSE scheme. ISAE-SUPAERO, our equal opportunities program created in 2006, of which Sophie Adenot and Thomas Pesquet are the sponsors. It is proof of openness, of interest in sharing experience and it is also what what the European Space Agency is looking for for its astronauts. At ISAE, we have followed her application closely and we are really proud that she has succeeded, she has everything to make a good astronaut”.
In 2014, during a day of sponsors of the OSE device, Sophie Adenot came with Thomas Pesquet then in full training and ready to leave for the International Space Station. The young woman had recounted her experience as an army helicopter pilot and had confided to us: “We cannot put ourselves in the place of the students, but we can tell them that it is possible to do things out of the ordinary”.
With nearly 1,900 students, 40% of whom are international, ISAE is today the leading training in the field of aerospace engineering. “We have no problem recruiting, we are in the top 5 of French engineering schools and for several years, we have noticed a growing proportion of students attracted more by space training than aeronautics. Sophie’s selection Adenot as the new European astronaut is all the more gratifying to us as she illustrates what we have been trying to promote for a long time, namely that girls are as happy as boys in aeronautical careers. We hope to attract more girls among our students, today they are around 20%”, concludes the Director General of ISAE. As for the next visit of astronaut Sophie Adenot to Toulouse, we will certainly have to be patient. “She won’t forget us but she’s going to have a very busy first year.”