French astronaut shares images of Dubai from orbit and hints at trip to Expo 2020

Thomas Pesquet is on board the International Space Station for a six-month mission

One of the images French astronaut Thomas Pesquet shared from onboard the International Space Station. Twitter 
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A French astronaut shared pictures of Dubai taken from orbit and hinted at his possible involvement in Expo 2020.

Thomas Pesquet, a European Space Agency astronaut currently on board the International Space Station, on Wednesday tweeted two pictures of the Palm taken from orbit.

He is on a six-month mission, named Alpha, and will become the first French commander of the space station in a month-long stint.

“When you see these palm trees from space, you know you are looking at Dubai,” he wrote.

“100 days until the World Expo opens there. The French pavilion is set to be on point, I might be involved in some way 😉 #MissionAlpha.”

The French pavilion, which was completed in April, will highlight the country’s gastronomic and cultural assets, as well as its innovations.

Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, said it would be an expression of “the wish for 21st-century enlightenment”.

For Mr Pesquet, Mission Alpha will include four spacewalks and more than 230 experiments.

"There is one that is really exciting," he told France 24.

"We are going to study mini-brains, stem cells – we can't yet imagine the applications that that can have.”

Much of the work will involve preparations for the next stage of space exploration, which takes on more importance every day, he said.

"It's a way to practise our scales to work our way towards the Moon, towards Mars. For sure, that is everybody's goal,” he said.

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