French astronaut Sophie Adenot will be the first of the 2022 class of European astronauts to fly to the International Space Station in spring 2026, the European Space Agency (ESA) announced on Wednesday, May 22. Sophie Adenot, a helicopter pilot, will thus become the second French astronaut in history to go into orbit, thirty years after Claudie Haigneré. “Happy for her and proud for France,” commented the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, on the social network X.

A graduate of the Higher Institute of Aeronautics and Space, engineer Sophie Adenot, lieutenant-colonel of the Air Force, was the first female helicopter test pilot, with 3,000 flight hours on his clock. The 2022 class, whose members were selected from around 23,000 candidates, succeeds that of 2009 which, with Thomas Pesquet, sparked a real enthusiasm for space adventure among young Europeans.