ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet and NASA astronaut Megan MacArthur run sessions on the Pilote experiment proposed by France’s space agency CNES in the European Columbus module of the International Space Station.
Continuing French neuroscience experiments started on the Russian space station Mir, the Pilote experiment evaluates a new way of providing tactile and visual feedback to astronauts when operating robots. Using a virtual reality headset and a haptic joystick can recreate the feeling of pressure and touch when tele-operating a robotic arm.
The results from Pilote will improve the work space on the International Space Station and future spacecraft for lunar and martian missions, where astronauts in orbit could operate rovers on the surface.
Watch a time lapse of the session here.
Over 200 experiments are planned for Thomas and crew, with 40 European ones and 12 new experiments led by CNES.
Read an overall of Thomas’ first month in space for mission Alpha, which included work on Pilote and other science experiments, organising Dragon cargo spacecraft deliveries, Space Station maintenance, not to mention daily exercise.