Meet Sophie Adenot – the new ESA astronaut and ‘proud Frenchwoman’

The European Space Agency has unveiled its new class of astronauts - one of whom is Sophie Adenot, who will be the second French woman to take up the role of career astronaut.

Meet Sophie Adenot - the new ESA astronaut and 'proud Frenchwoman'
French ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet (C) poses with ESA Astronaut Class of 2022 Arnaud Prost (L), and Sophie Adenot (R) during a ceremony to unveil the European Space Agency new class of career astronauts (Photo by Joël SAGET / AFP)

Among the group of 17 European astronauts France is represented by career astronaut Sophie Adenot and astronaut reserve Arnaud Prost.

The “new class”, five of whom will work as career astronauts and 11 will be part of the reserve pool, will be the third group for the European Space Agency – an inter-governmental organisation “dedicated to the exploration of space.”

They will begin with 12 months of basic training at the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany, before joining the existing corps, and will eventually be able to perform long-duration spaceflight missions, notably aboard the international space station, as well as joining the crews for future missions to the moon.

The space agency also appointed its first disabled astronaut, British Paralympic sprinter John McFall, to be part of the new class. According to the ESA, no major Western agency has ever sent a “parastronaut” to space. McFall lost his right leg in a motorbike accident in 2000.

Here’s what you need to know about Sophie;

She was picked out of thousands

Chosen from over 22,500 candidate’s, France’s Sophie Adenot, 40, hails from the Burgundy area in north-east France.

She speaks several languages

Aside from her mother tongue, which is French, Sophie is fluent in English. She also speaks German, Spanish and Russian. 

She is also an avid parachutist and yoga teacher

Adenot has several hobbies, including outdoor sports like skiing and mountain biking, but most notably she is also a certified yoga teacher, in addition to having her scuba diving license and being a trained skydiver. 

On her profile of the ESA website, Sophie Adenot explained that in addition to all of her experience as a pilot and her hobbies, she also has “fifteen years of experience” in helping to make science more accessible by giving lectures and lessons to children.

She has broken gender barriers

More than twenty years after Claudie Haigneré was named France’s first female astronaut, Adenot will be the second French woman to be a career astronaut with the European Space Agency.

However, she has broken gender barriers before. A trained engineer with specialisation in aircraft flight dynamics, with degrees from MIT in Boston, USA and Ecole Nationale Supérieure de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace (ISAE-SUPAERO) in Toulouse, France, Adenot went on to join the French Air Force in 2005 and become a helicopter pilot. In that role, she worked as a combat search and rescue pilot, having conducted several rescue operations in “hostile or desert environments,” according to Ouest France.

She made history in 2018 when she became France’s first female helicopter test pilot to test prototypes, and in 2021 she was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.

Adenot has accumulated more than 3,000 flight hours on 22 different machines.

She was awarded the Order of Merit

In 2022, Adenot received the National Order of Merit and the Medal of the National Assembly (la médaille de l’Assemblée nationale) honouring her actions as an inspirational ambassador for gender equality in science in 2021.

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The English-subtitled French film screenings for December you don’t want to miss

As the film club that screens French films with English subtitles celebrates its seventh birthday, here are the movies you will want to see and where you can see them:

The English-subtitled French film screenings for December you don't want to miss

For the past seven years, Lost in Frenchlation, a company that regularly screens French films with English subtitles, has given anglophones living in Paris – and more recently across France – the opportunity to enjoy French cinematic culture.

Lost in Frenchlation has also expanded out beyond Paris, with screenings in Charente and Normandy this month. 

Here are the screenings across France that you will want to take note of:


Trois Nuits par Semaine – In this film, the main character, 29-year-old Baptiste meets a young drag queen, Cookie Kunty, and becomes mesmerised, even though he is already in a relationship. The film shows Baptise becoming immersed in Cookie’s world, and eventually the start of their relationship.

Cineuropa described the film as “conveying to perfection the vibrancy of this incredibly intense yet wistfully painful world” and that the complex film is likely “to divide audiences.”

The screening will take place on Friday, December 2nd at 8pm, with pre-drinks beginning at 7pm. Following the film, moviegoers are encouraged to stick around for a Q&A with the director.

It will take place at L’Entrepôt Cinema (7 Rue Francis de Pressensé) in Paris’ 14th arrondisement. Tickets are available online for €7 for those eligible for reductions, and €8.50 for all others.

Pétaouchnock – Set in the Pyrenees mountains, this film is about two friends seeking to pull themselves up from rock bottom. While trekking on horseback, the duo enjoy an unforgettable experience. Described by Le Parisien as having a “well-seasoned cast with a good dose of comedy.”

The evening will also celebrate Lost in Frenchlation’s seventh anniversary, with giveaways and stand up comedy. Join the group at 7pm for drinks, and enjoy English-language comedy from Sarah Donnelly and Luke Thompson at 7:30 before the show goes on at 8pm.

Taking place at the Club de l’Étoile in Paris’ 8th arrondisement (14 Rue Troyon), on Friday, December 9th, you can find tickets HERE. Reduced tickets will be available at €13, and regular tickets are available for €15.

Petaouchnok_TLR-Pulsar_H264_HD-239_24p_WEB20_EN_20221020-M141.mp4 from Lost in Frenchlation on Vimeo.

Les Miens – a film by the director Roschdy Zem, Les Miens is a personal portrait of a family resembling the directors’ own. The film portrays a relationship between brothers – Moussa known for being kind – and Ryad – a TV presenter known for being egotistical. However, when Moussa suffers from serious brain trauma he becomes almost unrecongisable, and his family relationships are forever altered.

The screening will take place on December 12th at 8:30pm, with pre-drinks starting at 7pm. Moviegoers are welcome to stay after the screening for a Q&A with one of the film’s actors.

The show will take place at Cinéma du Panthéon, in Paris’ 5th arrondisement (13 rue Victor Cousin). You can get reduced-price tickets for €6.50 and regular priced tickets for €8.50. For this film, tickets will only be available at the door, but you can make a pre-reservation HERE

Simone, le voyage du siècle –  a biopic about one of France’s most prominent women, Simone Veil, this film will take audiences through the renowned feminist and holocaust survivor’s early childhood, as well as her most pivotal political battles. Vogue has called it one of “the most anticipated films of the year.” 

The Women of Paris walking tour will also be organising an event before the start of the screening, at 5pm. You can reserve tickets for €15 at this website.

As for the screening itself, it will take place on December 16th at 8pm. All are welcome to join in pre-drinks at 7pm. 

The film will be shown at the Luminor Hotel de Ville cinema, located at 20 Rue du Temple in Paris’ 4th arrondisement. 

You can find reduced price tickets (€7) and regular tickets (€11) HERE.

Les Engagés – Running a little over an hour and a half, this film shares the story of David, a man who ends up helping a young migrant who is being pursued by the police. Based on a true story, the film takes place in Briançon, a town in the Alps near France’s border with Italy, and tells the tale of how David commits himself to helping the young migrant, at all costs.

This screening will also be in partnership with the association “Serve the City Paris.” The only English-speaking NGO in Paris, Serve the City Paris has grown from its start in 2012 as a small circle to become a mobile organisation with over 700 volunteers.

The organisation will be conducting a Christmas fundraiser at the screening, where they will accept money, in addition to physical donations (with priority placed on sleeping bags and tents large enough for for two to four people) for those in need. You can learn more HERE

Taking place on December 22nd, moviegoers are welcome to enjoy pre-drinks at 7pm before the 8pm screening at L’Arlequin in Paris’ 6th arrondisement (76 Rue de Rennes)


Those looking to enjoy a French film with English subtitles in Charente are in luck this month. The theatre is located in Marthon, about half an hour from Angouleme by car).

Couleurs de l’incendie – An adaptation of the 1927 saga, the film tells the story of Madeleine, a young heiress who must take over a financial empire after the death of her father, Marcel Péricourt.

You can find the listing for the film on the theatre’s Facebook Page. It will be screened December 10th at 5:30pm. If you need to contact the theatre for any reason, you can reach them at [email protected]


English-speaking fans of French cinema in Normandy can rejoice, as Lost in Frenchlation has also expanded to Caen. Here is what is in store for December;

Saint Omer – In this film by Alice Diop, a young novelist has her convictions called into question as she attends the trial of  Laurence Coly, a woman accused of killing her 15-month-old daughter, who drowned at a beach in northern France. As the trial rolls forward, the novelist is struck by the words of the accused and the witness’ testimonies.

The screening will take place in partnership with the Café des images, which is dedicated to giving the international community in Normandy an opportunity to experience France’s cinema culture.

Taking place on Wednesday, December 14th, moviegoers are invited to join for a pre-screening get-together at Café Polyglotte at 7pm. The screening will begin at 9pm.

The theatre itself is located at 4 square du théâtre, 14200 Hérouville-Saint-Clair