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French astronaut learning Russian, looking forward to ISS flight

August 14, 2015, 15:17 UTC+3 PARIS

Thomas Pesquet, 37, is Europe’s youngest astronaut

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PARIS, August 14. /TASS/. European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet said on Friday he is learning the Russian language and is looking forward to joining the International Space Station (ISS).

Pesquet, 37, a French aerospace engineer and Europe’s youngest astronaut, told the Radio France Internationale in an interview about the training in the Star City facility near Moscow for the flight scheduled in 2016.

"A huge job is due to be done before the flight to the ISS onboard the Soyuz. An astronaut needs to study many technical issues linked to the ISS and the Soyuz spacecraft and prepare for the scientific experiments," he said.

Astronauts must learn the Russian language which will be used during all the communication with the Mission Control Center. Besides, the carrier rocket itself is manufactured by Russia and all the technical inscriptions are in Russian.

"I should be fluent in the language to be ready for actions in any possible situations," he said.

The mission will be tasked with conducting unique medical experiments, including those related to the treatment of cancer and musculoskeletal disorders. Under the program, 85 scientific experiments in various spheres will be carried out.

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