During his six months in space French astronaut Thomas Pesquet shared some incredible photos of France taken from space, these are some of our favourites
French astronaut Thomas Pesquet has just returned from a six-month mission to the International Space Station. In January he became the fourth French astronaut to perform a spacewalk when he and fellow astronaut Shane Kimbrough installed three new lithium-ion batteries. Born in Rouen to school-teacher parents, Pesquet received an MA in space systems and space mechanics in 2001 from the École nationale supérieure de l’aéronautique et de l’espace in Toulouse. He went on to join the French space agency, CNES, as a research engineer on space missions before qualifying as a commercial pilot and working for Air France. In 2008 Pesquet applied to join the European Astronaut Corps and was selected less than a year later as an astronaut for the European Space Agency (ESA).
During his time on the International Space Station Pesquet has gained a considerable social media following for the incredible pictures he posts of the Earth from space. These are some of our favourite photos of France from space…
Northern France as seen from the International Space Station!
Mont St Michel as you’ve never seen it before!
The Quiberon peninsula juts out into the Atlantic in Brittany and its rugged coastline and sandy beaches are popular with visitors
A fantastic view of Nice and the Riviera – look how blue the Mediterranean sea looks!
This fantastic photo shows the Ile de Noirmoutier, an island on France’s Atlantic coast just off Vendée. Some people don’t actually consider Nourmoutier an island as it’s connected to the mainland by road which is submerged at high tide
The magnificent Mont Blanc from an angle you don’t usually see!
This great photo shows the city of Lyon at night time
Toulon is a town in the south of France, along the Mediterranean coast. It is the base of the French navy and you can even see some of the ships in this photo
Biarritz, Bayonne and Anglet on France’s south-west coast are a favourite spot with surfers
This is a stunning 3D effect image of a mountain valley in the Pyrénées near Lourdes
This is a great view of Serre Chevalier in the French Alps
A night-time view of the city of Nantes, capital of the Pays-de-la-Loire region
The city of Toulouse, capital of the Occitanie region and where Pesquet studied for his MA in space systems and space mechanics in 2001
A great view of the Bonaparte airport in Ajaccio, capital of Corsica
A fabulous night-time photo of Paris, it’s easy to see why it’s called the City of Light!
A colourful view of the bay of St Brieuc in Brittany – it looks more like the Caribbean!
A great photo of the harbour town of La Rochelle in western France, popular with holidaymakers in the summer
The characteristic bay at Saint Jean de Luz in south-western France
A great night-time photo of Bordeaux and the Garonne River running through the middle
A colourful photo of Port Navalo at the entrance to the Gulf of Morbihan in Brittany
Another amazing 3D effect photo of the mountains, this time in Auvergne
The bright blue Atlantic sea and the town of Dieppe in Normandy
An amazing image of the Jura mountains surrounded by clouds
Pesquet during his space walk in January – follow him on Instagram for more amazing photos