Sophie Ardenot becomes the second French female astronaut in history

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From model to model, the career of this engineer, also the first female experimental helicopter pilot, is studded with the influence of inspiring women.

Alone it brings together all the qualities of Totally Spies!. Intelligent, courageous, athletic, Sophie Ardenot is also a pioneer. According to Info France, is part of the new promotion of European astronauts whose list was unveiled by the European Space Agency (ESA) on Wednesday 23 November. Five people selected from 22,523 candidates, a nice selection. With this selection, at the age of 40, she became the second French female astronaut.

Engineer and Air Force officer

If she’s about to conquer space, Sophie Ardenot, mother of a child, conquered the sky first. After obtaining an engineering degree from the National School of Aeronautics and Space (Isae Supaero), she put her skills to the service of the Airbus Helicopters company, where she worked in the design studio office designing helicopter cockpits.

At 23 he enlisted in the army. In particular, he carried out 2 missions in Afghanistan and took part in search and rescue missions to rescue pilots expelled in hostile terrain or injured. In 2018, she already made history by becoming the first female experimental helicopter pilot in France. Three years later, on May 21, 2021, she was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel.

The importance of role models

In 1985, Claudie Haigneré led the way by becoming one of 7 astronauts selected by CNES (National Center for Space Studies). A role model for Sophie Ardenot, who she says “did all the Paris Air Shows to try and see her” when she was younger. “If she hadn’t been here, I wouldn’t be here today”assures.

During his journey, the astronaut remembers the importance of role models girls and young women can identify. And if she recognizes that her grandfather, an aeronautical mechanic, inspired her a lot, she also pays tribute to other women who have influenced her. In a video published by the Farnesina in mid-November you mention Valérie André, the first French helicopter pilot, and Caroline Aigle, the first female fighter pilot. From inspired to inspiring, one fat step for women and for humanity.

Front page photo credit: YouTube screenshot.

Source: Madmoizelle

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