ESA astronaut Michel Tognini (FR) flew on the Space Shuttle Columbia STS-93 mission in July 1999 (he was a CNES astronaut at the time). He spent nearly 5 days in space with fellow crew members Eileen Collins, Steven Hawley, Jeffrey Ashby and Catherine Colemans. The mission deployed the Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility (AXAF), enabling scientists to study exotic phenomena in the Universe such as exploding stars, quasars and black holes.
The STS-93 patch was designed by the five crew members and depicts AXAF separating from the Space Shuttle after a successful deployment. A spiral galaxy is shown in the background as a possible target for AXAF observations. The two flags represent the international crew, from the USA and France.
Tognini joined ESA after this mission in November 1999, and is now Head of the European Astronaut Centre (EAC), Directorate of Human Spaceflight, in Cologne, Germany.