ESA title
Philippe Perrin
Science & Exploration

Philippe Perrin

5128 views 12 likes
ESA / Science & Exploration / Human and Robotic Exploration / Astronauts

Personal data

Born January 6, 1963, in Meknes, Morocco. Considers Avignon, Provence, to be his hometown. Married, two children. Enjoys scuba diving, skiing, sailing, hiking, travel, the history of sciences.


Entered the French “Ecole Polytechnique (Paris)” in 1982. Graduated as “Ingénieur Polytechnicien” (engineering degree) in 1985. Received his Test Pilot Licence in 1993 from the Ecole du Personnel Navigant d’Essais et de Réception (EPNER), the French Test Pilot School at Istres Air Force Base. Received his Airline Pilot Certificate in 1995. Perrin is Colonel with the French Air Force.

Special awards

Awarded his pilot’s wings “first of his class” in 1996. Recipient of two French Air Force awards for Flight Safety in 1989, the French Overseas Medal (Gulf War in 1991), and two French National Defense Medals.


Prior to graduating from the Ecole Polytechnique, Perrin completed military duty in the French Navy, where he was trained in ship piloting and navigation, and spent 6 months at sea in the Indian Ocean.

Following Ecole Polytechnique, he entered the French Air Force in 1985, was awarded his pilot’s wings in 1986, and assigned to the 33rd Reconnaissance Wing at Strasbourg Air Force Base (1987-1991). He flew the Mirage F1 CR and made detachments in Africa and Saudi Arabia.

Upon graduating from EPNER, the French Test Pilot School, he worked on a variety of test programs while assigned to the Bretigny Test Center.

In 1992, he was temporarily detached to the French Space Agency (CNES) and sent to Star City, Russia, where he trained for two months.

In 1993, he reported to the 2nd Air Defense Wing of Dijon Air Force Base as Senior Operations Officer (Operation Southern Watch).

In 1995, he returned to the Bretigny Test Center, as Chief Pilot Deputy, in charge of the development of the Mirage 2000-5.

In July 1996, CNES announced his selection as an Astronaut and assigned him to attend NASA’s Astronaut Candidate Training in Houston, Texas.

From August 1996 Perrin reported to the Johnson Space Center. Having completed two years of training and evaluation, he was qualified for flight assignment as a mission specialist. Perrin was initially assigned technical duties in the Astronaut Office Spacecraft Systems/Operations Branch and worked on man-machine interface issues in different programs: Shuttle upgrade, X38 and ATV.

Perrin has flown 26 combat missions and has logged over 3000 flying hours in over 30 types of planes (from jet fighters to Airbus).

Spaceflight experience

He served as a mission specialist (MS1) on STS-111 (June 5-19, 2002) onboard Space Shuttle Endeavour. The STS-111 mission delivered a new ISS resident crew and a Canadian-built mobile base for the orbiting outpost’s robotic arm. STS-111 also brought home the Expedition Four crew from their 6 ½ month stay aboard the station. Mission duration was 13 days, 20 hours and 35 minutes.

As MS1, Perrin was in the cockpit during ascent. He focused most of his time on orbit preparing and carrying out three successful space-walks. On the first two Extravehicular activities, he helped to install the MBS and on the third, he performed a late-notice repair of the station’s robot arm by replacing one of its joints. He spent a total of about 19 hours outside the station.

During that mission, he was also arm operator and berthed the MPLM back into the Orbiter Payload bay towards the end of the mission. He was also in charge of portable computers and worked as the main board engineer (MS2) during the rendezvous phases.

Last assignment

In December 2002, Perrin joined the ESA European Astronaut Corps, whose homebase is the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) located in Cologne, Germany. After completion of a familiarization period, he will be assigned to provide engineering support to the ESA ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle) project at the ATV Control Center in Toulouse.

In May 2004, he became Experimental Test Pilot with Airbus Industrie in Toulouse.