This November, Thomas Pesquet will be the next French astronaut to fly to the International Space Station. How do astronauts pack their bags for a spaceflight? Suffice to say that it is a rigorous process, as they are allowed just 1.5 kg of personal belongings aside from their clothing and work equipment!

Fais ta valise pour l'espace !
What would you take to space if, like Thomas, you were leaving on a long-duration space mission?

Portrait de Charlotte Poupon

Charlotte Poupon is an industrial designer and PhD postgraduate student in geography at the University of Artois (Arras) and neurosciences at IRBA, the French armed forces biomedical research institute. She has been doing research since 2010 on remote, confined, extreme and unusual environments. To this end, she spent time on the L’Emeraude nuclear-powered attack submarine and took part in a summer field campaign in the Antarctic, making the 2,400-km, 3-week round trip to the Concordia research base on a tractor in a convoy totally unassisted.
She was subsequently commander for a 2-week rotation at the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station in the Utah Desert in the United States. Since 2013, she has been working with a doctoral allocation co-funded by the University of Artois and the French defence procurement agency DGA.

For her doctoral thesis, Charlotte Poupon (see box) is investigating how people would prepare emotionally for a long-duration spaceflight mission to Mars for example.

France’s space agency CNES is partnering with her on this project and giving you the opportunity to take part: share the contents of the suitcase you would take with you to space on the website linked below. The website is in French but the science is international and CNES accepts inputs in English. Scroll to the bottom and insert your family name, first name and email. Upload a picture of your suitcase and describe up to 20 objects you would take and why. Lastly decide whether to sign up to the CNES newsletter and accept the legal agreement.


Tell us what you would pack!