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SpaceX by Elon Musk will launch the French astronaut into space next year

Meanwhile, European astronauts will continue to demand alternative journeys to the ISS for their missions.

“I am delighted to be the first European to fly the new generation of American manned spacecraft,” said Pesquet, who spent 197 days on the ISS in 2016 and 2017.

Until now, European astronauts have only been able to reach the ISS through the discontinued NASA Space Shuttle program or the Russian-built Soyuz.

ESAs outgoing Director General Jan Wörner said the deal illustrates the “international nature of human spaceflight”, even though it uses a commercial spacecraft built in the US

The 2021 mission – called Alpha – will be the first time in ten years that a European astronaut is launched into space from the US. In 2011, Italian Roberto Vittori traveled aboard NASA’s Space Shuttle Endeavor.