Macron lobbies Harris for French astronaut to hitch moon mission

French President Emmanuel Macron lobbied Vice President Harris to pick a French astronaut to be the primary European to land on the moon.

Macron pitched European Area Company (ESA) astronaut Thomas Pesquet as a candidate throughout a Wednesday gathering with Harris and different officers at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., in accordance with Politico.

Macron, who’s on an official go to to the U.S., playfully requested Pesquet be the primary European to land on the moon.

“I’ve a candidate for you for flying to the moon,” Macron mentioned in a video posted on Twitter. “He desires to go to Artemis three.”

Artemis III is an intercontinental efforts that goals to ship astronauts again to the moon for the primary time since 1972. NASA says the earliest potential date to land astronauts on the lunar floor is 2025.

NASA this month accomplished the primary crucial check within the Artemis program, launching the Orion spacecraft from the Area Launch System megarocket to soar greater than 40,000 miles previous the moon.

The ESA is an official companion in NASA’s Artemis program and plans to ship three astronauts on the Orion spacecraft, together with U.S. astronauts, to an area outpost orbiting the moon referred to as The Gateway.

NASA Administrator Invoice Nelson mentioned in June that a type of three ESA astronauts may go a step additional and land on the moon.

“We stay up for having an ESA astronaut be a part of us on the floor of the Moon and persevering with to construct on our longstanding, crucial partnership,” Nelson mentioned on the time.

The ESA will in the end determine which astronauts will accompany NASA, and has not made any official bulletins.

Pesquet, 44, is from Rouen, France, and joined ESA in 2009. He has traveled to the Worldwide Area Station twice, together with on a mission final yr.

On Wednesday, Pesquet mentioned it might be “enjoyable” to journey to the moon and praised NASA’s Artemis I launch earlier this month on the Kennedy Area Heart in Florida.

“The launch was magical,” he mentioned within the video shared by Macron.