Be bold, dare to be different and push the boundaries to create something new.

That was the advice from former former CNES and ESA astronaut and French minister Claudie Haigneré who was also the first French woman to venture into space.

Haigneré said the new generation of space explorers shouldn’t be tempted to stick to established conventions. “I would say be bold and dare to tempt your dream or your desire, your vision. We frame ourselves in old rules. I think really, we are in the new era. And being there, we feel this younger generation pushing and trying to create something new. So don’t be afraid to be different. And be bold.”

New generation will push boundaries of space

Haigneré said the sector would be pushing the existing boundaries of space exploration nearing 30 years for the Mir and ISS Space Stations, the new generation would be pushing forward to the Moon, Mars and deep space.

She said inspiring today’s students would be key to this progress. “We need to learn a lot and we have still a lot to learn from a scientific point of view engineering point of view. So we need all the talents of men and women to enter into this new era.”

Haigneré said it was her “childhood dream” to have gone to the moon, she said the challenge for the new generation was to cooperate beyond borders, forming “multilateral co-operations” to solve problems.

She explained: “That means I’m really thinking in terms of humanity, human kind, and not just as a French, European, American astronaut or as an Arabic astronaut. We’re trying to see the future all together, because the stakes are so important, we need to put all the resources and all mindsets together.”