ESA Astronaut Thomas Pesquet Votes In French Election From International Space Station
To many, voting isn't just a right, but it's also a responsibility. That is even more so for European Space Agency's astronaut Thomas Pesquet, who did not let being in space stop him from exercising his rights.
Exercising His Rights From Space
Even though he is aboard the International Space Station, Thomas Pesquet, the youngest ESA astronaut, did not let the distance stop him from voting for who will be the next leader of France. To make matters more complicated, Pesquet's place of residence on Earth at the time of the election was in Frankfurt, Germany.
With the help of a colleague of his who was in France at the time of the election, Pesquet was able to vote on the first round of French elections on April 23. By using a power of attorney, Pesquet arranged for his French colleague to vote on his behalf, and the matter of his residence on Earth did not become a hindrance to his ability to vote from afar.
Perhaps it was due to the more turbulent nature of the current French elections that Pesquet really did everything he could to be able to vote even if he was about 400 km (249 miles) above the Earth's surface.
Pesquet, who admitted to following the current elections even from space through news bits from his girlfriend, spoke openly about his views on the current elections, saying "we must not judge candidates on the color of their tie but really on what they propose and what they will do."
Though he did not give any specific political opinions, Pesquet did comment on the matter of the divisive and turbulent state of France as of the moment.
"I think it's important to open up and understand that the world is done with others, not against others, that we need more bridges than walls," he said in an interview with Franceinfo.
Even if France's space program was not much of a topic of conversation during the campaign period, Pesquet weighed in on the matter of voting by stating how important it is for people to vote, and that it would be difficult for anyone to complain about political results if they do not exercise their duty.
For now, Pesquet is the ESA's space envoy to the ISS where he is on a six-month mission that began in November 2016. At the ISS, Pesquet is working closely with astronauts Oleg Novitsky, and NASA's Peggy Whitson.
France is currently preparing for the final leg of its presidential elections where Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen will face off for France's presidential seat.