French astronaut Thomas Pesquet talks about his experience on the International Space Station.
You can download the file [ HERE ].
[n] - noun, [v] - verb, [phv] - phrasal verb, [adj] - adjective, [exp] - expression
Now if you want to get fresh ideas about something, it helps to change perspective. Someone who's done just that is the French astronaut Thomas Pesquet. He's in the UK to talk about his experience of living for several months on the International Space Station. My colleague Sarah Montague asked him how heading out into space quite literally changed the way he saw the world.
Yeah, I think he did as a matter of fact. This is what you call a life changing experience in so many different ways. First of all, I think to me by looking at the planet Earth from from the Earth's orbit, you see how fragile it is. And we take it for granted here on the when we're on the ground, but when you see the negative effects of human activity - the effects of climate change from the space station whether it be water pollution in sea in rivers, clearings cuts in the Amazonian forests, air pollution, the ice melting in the glaciers in South America, you start to reflect and you think that this planet is very fragile. We have to protect it.
So what? Were you shocked by that when you saw it?
I was! I was! So initially when you see the Earth, you are struck by how beautiful it is. And that's really what overwhelms you at the beginning. And then you start looking at the details, and you start you start seeing the not so nice areas. The areas where the human activity is affecting the environment. And across, along the six months mission, I started taking pictures more and more of those areas at the end of the mission because that's what this would shock me to see.
Now the space station is of course an international collaboration. It is and this is sort of what you were talking about as well last night - that idea of countries working together.
Yeah absolutely. We try to inspire young people and to, you know, make them try to reach their goals. That's what he was all about. And yeah, the International Space Station is international by essence. And I think that's one of the best examples of how you can achieve together things that you wouldn't be able to achieve as just one country. No country on Earth could have built the space station as it is today on their own, whether it be the U.S., Russia or any single country in Europe. Just by putting all resources together and working together, we were able to build this incredible engineering feat.
And you're hoping to go back soon?
Oh yeah, we were all hoping to. You know, space is addictive. Once you've flown in space, it's like having superpowers. You can fly around, you can float, you can carry really really heavy stuff with just two fingers. So it's like being a superhero. Everybody wants to go back and to claim their super powers back.
The superhero back on Earth, French astronaut Thomas Pesquet.