They are Russian, French, American, Japanese and they have a common mission: to work aboard the ISS, the international space station, which is aptly named. But how do you get along well when you don’t speak the same language? How is the atmosphere on board in a confined space with several people?
This is the topic of the day that interests children this week, in Space emission. Like every Saturday, astronaut Thomas Pesquet answers them from space.
#Tbt from Monday to the start of the #MissionAlpha : here is Soichi playing on the keyboard left on board the @Space_Station by Carl Walz… 20 years ago! And my own saxophone, loyal to the post for 4 years. #Music Festival #MissionAlpha https://t.co/IqjTDoqkpo pic.twitter.com/7CO0x9t7q1
– Thomas Pesquet (@Thom_astro) June 21, 2021
This is Margaux, 9 years old, which launches for the first question: “I would like to know if you get along well with your colleagues from other countries and if you exchange advice?” asks the schoolgirl from Saint-Martin-du-Vivier in Normandy. “Yes, we get along well, answers Thomas Pesquet. Each one has its particularities obviously. We’ve known each other a bit since training, we’ve spent a lot of time together. “ And positive response also for the exchange of advice, especially as some astronauts have had different experiences or spent more time in the ISS for example: “We try to communicate intelligently with each other.”
Speaking of communication, Louise, 11, from Beaumont-Saint-Cyr school in Vienna has a question: “How do you manage to speak between astronauts knowing that you all speak a different language?” asks the student. “A very good question, reacts the astronaut. Imagine that most of the time, we speak English. We speak a little Russian too “ because the ISS is the assembly of a Russian station and a “a little more international glued together”, hence the presence of “Russian documentation” on board !
We are now interested in the atmosphere in the ISS with the questions of Laura and Eden : these students from Mouans-Sartoux (Alpes-Maritimes) want to know if astronauts celebrate birthdays and if they go to bed late at night. “Yes, we celebrate birthdays in the ISS. We try to maintain things that remind us of life on Earth”, traditions like Christmas or birthdays.
Recently, it was also the birthday of the American astronaut Shane! “In the evening, everyone was in bed, I went to put up a banner “Happy Birthday” at the place where we have breakfast. I had brought him a small gift in space in my luggage. ” A small celebration that puts “good mood” and that “reminds us a bit of life on Earth.”
Shane’s birthday party last Friday. We had a lighter schedule because of @SpaceX-22 arrived on Saturday when we worked non-stop, so that was a lucky coincidence!
We celebrated Shane’s birthday on Friday. We try to maintain a normal social life as much as possible! pic.twitter.com/QOIPPu8k0I
– Thomas Pesquet (@Thom_astro) June 6, 2021
As for the late bedtime hours: “It depends, in general not all the same”, replies Thomas Pesquet. Because astronauts get up very early in the morning: “We still start every morning at 7:30 am.” And then “everyone has their hours.” Like Mark who gets up earlier to do his sport, around 4.30 or 5 a.m. “I am the one who goes to bed the latest, rather 11pm or midnight”, says Thomas Pesquet. This allows you to vary the rhythms: “everyone has their moment when they have the station to themselves.”
“I also wonder if your colleagues also do a radio ‘space show’ in their language?” asks for his part Alix, 8 years old, from Seine-Maritime. A question that makes the astronaut smile: “No, just imagine they don’t do a space radio show in their language, answers Thomas Pesquet. All that is in addition to work, it is in the evening, it takes a lot of time. You know, we work really long days. People choose not to add work, I choose to add work, but it’s good, it allows to discuss things like that. Maybe people are a little more interested in space or are embarking on scientific careers or that makes them dream. It’s good, it’s worth it, but it’s a lot of extra effort. “
On this page, you can listen to this new episode of Space emission, where astronaut Thomas Pesquet answers children’s questions about life aboard the ISS. A meeting to listen to every Saturday at 10:44 and 12:50 on the News i radio and to find in podcast.