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Returned ISS astronaut quips about what he didn’t miss on Earth

French astronaut Thomas Pesquet returned to Earth last week after a six-month stay aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

During his time on the orbiting outpost, Pesquet tweeted regularly to his 1.3 million followers, keeping them up to date with his work, offering video tours of the station’s many modules, and sharing fabulous imagery of Earth 250 miles below.

He clearly loved every moment of his time aboard the ISS, but last Monday it was time to return to terra firma with his fellow Crew-2 astronauts.

Soon after splashing down in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida, Pesquet found himself on an airplane jetting back to his home country.

In his first tweet after returning to Earth, the astronaut said: “It’s good to be back. The last 72 hours have been simply incredible, so much action and so much change in so little time. I barely now start realizing I’m back from 6 months in space … and I’m starting to process how amazing the journey was.”

In a follow-up message, Pesquet posted a picture of himself in the countryside, together with a joke about what he didn’t miss during his six months in space.

“Back on Earth and everything is slowly sinking in … Normal life is coming back little by little, some things I didn’t miss: Six months of unpaid bills to sort through!”

Back on Earth and everything is slowly sinking in… Normal life is coming back little by little, some things I didn't miss: 6 months of unpaid bills to sort through !

— Thomas Pesquet (@Thom_astro) November 12, 2021

In his most recent tweet, Pesquet, who has now completed two missions to the ISS, is seen taking a well-earned rest on a sofa, with his message noting how the station’s microgravity conditions meant it’d been some time since he’d enjoyed a proper sit-down.

“Haven’t really sat on anything for 200 days, let alone lounge … give me a break,” Pesquet wrote in his tweet.

Un samedi soir sur la Terre 🌍🎶 #FrancisCabrel
Haven’t really sat on anything for 200 days, let alone lounge… give me a break 🛋 😊 #MissionAlpha #saturdaynight #chill #backtoearth #Thom_astro #At_Home_Astro

— Thomas Pesquet (@Thom_astro) November 13, 2021

Reflecting on his six-month mission in a meeting with reporters shortly after his return, Pesquet noted that it was the range of tasks that he undertook on the station that made his time in space so interesting. “I really think it’s the variety, the diversity of the things we do,” he said. “What we do every day is different. Sometimes we work on medicine, physiology, and then physics experiments the next day.”

He cited the spacewalks as the most challenging part of the mission, with the restricted movement of the spacesuit putting huge demands on the upper body during the six- or seven-hour walks outside the station.

He added that after a short break, he’s already back to work, giving blood samples to scientists who’re keen to learn how the mission affected his body, while also finding his balance again, and hitting the gym to rebuild his muscle mass.

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