French Astronaut Gets Government Position

Article written: 19 Jun , 2002
Updated: 2 Jun , 2013
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Image credit: ESA

Claudie Haigner?, an astronaut with the European Space Agency, has been appointed to the post of Minister for Research and New Technologies in the French government. She joined the European Astronaut Corps in 1999 and has been to space twice on board Russian Soyuz spacecraft – she was the first European woman to visit the International Space Station in 2001.

Claudie Haigner?, the ESA astronaut, has been appointed to the post of Minister for Research and New Technologies in the French government announced yesterday.

Claudie Haigner?, 45, with an outstanding ‘cursus honoris’, a doctor with a specialisation in rheumatology and a Ph.D in neurosciences, was selected in 1985 as a candidate astronaut by the French space agency, CNES. She has played a prominent role in the development of scientific applications of manned spaceflight and in fostering scientific relations with Russia. Mrs Haigner? is a permanent member of the French Academy of Technology and holds the honours of Officier de la L?gion d’Honneur and Chevalier de l’Ordre National du M?rite.

In 1999 she joined the European Astronaut Corps of the European Space Agency. She has taken part in two space missions with the Russians, ‘Cassiop?e’ in August 1996 and ‘Androm?de’ in October 2001. She was the first woman to qualify as a Soyuz Return Commander (July 1999), responsible for the three-person Soyuz capsule during a re-entry from space, and was the first European woman to visit the International Space Station (October 2001).

ESA’s Director General, Antonio Rodot?, expressed delight at this appointment, “In our ‘space world’ Claudie Haigner? has demonstrated really outstanding capabilities as a scientist as well as an astronaut during her time with us. This appointment honours the European Space Agency and puts Mrs Haigner? in a key position to shape the future of Europe’s science and technology. I wish her all the best in her new responsibilities.”

Original Source: ESA News Release


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