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N° 37–1996: ESA astronauts join 1996 Astronaut Class at NASA

14 August 1996

On Monday 12 August, ESA astronauts Pedro Duque and Christer Fuglesang arrived at NASA's Johnson Space Center to begin training as members of the 1996 Astronaut Class.

The two ESA astronauts are part of a group of international astronaut candidates, in which the Canadian, French, German, Italian and Japanese space agencies are also represented, who will train for 22 months as mission specialists for future Space Shuttle and International Space Station missions.

Pedro Duque, born on 14 March 1963 in Madrid, Spain, was selected in May 1992 to join ESA's Astronaut Corps. He trained at ESA's European Astronaut Centre in Cologne and at the Cosmonaut Training Centre in Star City, Russia. He was stand-by crew member for ESA's 30-day Euromir 94 mission and served as primary Crew Interface Coordinator for that Mission. Duque was also the Alternate Payload Specialist for Shuttle mission STS- 78 in June-July this year.

Christer Fuglesang, born on 18 March 1957 in Stockholm, Sweden, was selected in May 1992 to join ESA's Astronaut Corps. He trained at ESA's European Astronaut Centre in Cologne and at the Cosmonaut Training Centre in Star City, Russia. He was the stand-by crew member for ESA's 180-day Euromir 95 mission and served as primary Crew Interface Coordinator for that mission. The other international candidates selected by NASA are: Steve Mac Lean and Julie Payette of the Canadian Space Agency; Mamorou Mohri and Soichi Noguchi of the Japanese space agency NASDA; Philippe Perrin of the French space agency CNES; Gerard Thiele of the German space agency DARA and Umberto Guidoni of the Italian space agency ASI.


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