Training to docking | Mission Alpha

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Highlights of the launch and first day in space of ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet on the Alpha mission.

On 24 April at 11:08 CEST the Crew Dragon spacecraft with ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet, @NASA astronauts Megan McArthur and Shane Kimbrough, and @JAXA | 宇宙航空研究開発機構 astronaut Akihiko Hoshide docked with the International Space Station’s Node-2 Harmony module, marking the start of ESA’s six-month mission Alpha.

The crew spent around 23 hours orbiting Earth and catching up with the International Space Station after their launch on 23 April at 10:49 BST (11:49 CEST, 05:49 local time). The launch to docking went smoothly in Crew Dragon Endeavour.

Thomas is the first ESA astronaut to fly in space in a vehicle other than the Russian Soyuz or the US Space Shuttle, and the first ESA astronaut to leave Earth from Florida, USA, in over a decade. This is his second flight, his first mission called Proxima saw Thomas fly to the Space Station on a Soyuz from Baikonur in Kazakhstan and his expedition broke records for amount of hours spent on research at the time.

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