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World-renowned soccer star Kylian Mbappé talks cosmic kicks with space station astronaut

French soccer sensation, Kylian Mbappé could hardly contain his excitement as he became the first soccer player to chat with someone in outer space when called French astronaut Thomas Pesquet on the International Space Station this month.

Pesquet and Mbappé spoke for 20 minutes as the space station orbited over Europe. On this Earth-to-space call, the two chatted about the difficulties of being in space and incredible science that's done on the orbiting lab among other topics.

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Astronaut Thomas Pesquet talks to soccer star Kylian Mbappé from the International Space Station (Image credit: ESA/UEFA)

"I can't believe my eyes! I have so many questions, I don't know where to start. First of all, how does it feel to be in space?" Mbappé asked Pesquet.

"It's thrilling. A six-month mission had a phenomenal start with the big launch and after that, it's like going on a roller coaster ride but 10,000 times more powerful," Pesquet responded.

"Once you're in space, all of a sudden it's so quiet; everything just floats around, everything's so calm, everything's easy," Pesquet said. "You can lift very heavy loads because obviously you don't feel the weight anymore.

"You can fly. So, it's like a dream," he added

This is the Pesquet's second mission on the Space Station, and Mbappé was curious to know about some of the science that happens in outer space. "What do you do in space? Have you made any discoveries?" he asked.

"We do a fair amount of medical research, on physiology and stem cells," Pesquet replied.

"There's a phenomenon by which if you spend six months in space, it's as if your body aged ten years: you lose muscle because you're not using them, you lose bone mass, because you don't need to support the weight of your body. You atrophy a bit.

"The scientists love it, because you see what's going on with the cells, DNA, etc., and they think they may even be able to understand the key to aging.

"So, that's just one subject; there are plenty of others. We make alloys, we do lots of things. Every day, I'm doing four or five different experiments."

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