Address by French astronaut Michel Tognini

Michel Tognini French astronaut

Michel Tognini (a French astronaut), the third key speaker at event Le Mans Hydrogène, spoke, on September 27 in Le Mans, live from the International Space Station… or quite.

After a segment on aviation yesterday, followed by Ariane Group’s talk on rockets and launchers, this time Le Mans Hydrogène takes us straight into space with Michel Tognini, one of the first French astronauts. He has already spent time on board the MIR space station. He is a hydrogen enthusiast and he knows the 24 Hours of Le Mans pretty well. During his speech he went on about his relationship with hydrogen, from “space to the road.”

He pointed out that astronauts have a dual relationship with hydrogen. The first, and in his opinion the most noble, is the role of protecting the Earth and ecology. In this context, hydrogen plays a part as a solution to decarbonise, alongside electric power for the future of mobility. Secondly, hydrogen has a long history in the conquest of space, both for propulsion and for supplying electrical power via fuel cells.

The point of view of a French astronaut on hydrogen’s safety

The French astronaut is confident about the safety of hydrogen. He confessed he had experienced only one problem in his career, during the famous Apollo 13 mission. However, he explained that the incident was due to an incorrect ground check. His conlusion is that hydrogen accepts load factors, vibrations and also fairly serious breakdowns.

He also talked about his first meeting with Elon Musk, in 1995, and with Thomas Pesquet (another French astronaut), in ’99. He also mentioned his regular use of hydrogen when he’s on earth (he is a regular user of the Hype taxis in Paris). Michel Tognini also talked about the 24H of Le Mans, the Paris Air Show and the issues surrounding satellites and debris in particular.

You can watch his speech here (in French).

*European Astronaut Center

Do you want to learn more about French astronauts? Then our latest article on the subject should interest you. You can read it here.

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About the author

Picture of Logan King

Logan King

After an unusual career (3 years in the French army followed by a 3-year degree in Applied Foreign Languages), it was my passion for environmental issues that finally caught up with me and led me to join Seiya Consulting and H2 Today in June 2022. First as an end-of-study internship, then as Marketing & Communication Manager and translator at Hydrogen Today.

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