NAME: Léopold Eyharts
BIRTHPLACE AND DATE: Biarritz, France, 28 April 1957.
EDUCATION: Eyharts graduated as an engineer from the Salon de Provence Air Force Academy in 1979. He qualified as a fighter pilot in Tours in 1980 and graduated from the Test Pilot School (EPNER) in Istres in 1988.
RECREATIONAL INTERESTS: Jogging, mountain biking, tennis, reading.
EXPERIENCE: From 1980 to 1987, Léopold Eyharts was a fighter pilot and then patrol leader on Jaguar A aircraft. He was posted to the Brétigny-sur-Orge Flight Test Centre as a test pilot in 1988, becoming Chief Test Pilot in 1990.
Eyharts logged 3,000 hours flying time on over 50 types of aircraft, and made 20 parachute jumps, including one ejection. He holds a commission as Lieutenant Colonel in the French air force.
After being selected as a cosmonaut by the French National Space Agency (CNES) in 1990, Eyharts was involved in the Hermes space plane project. He was test pilot and engineer for the Zero G Caravelle programme (parabolic flights) in 1992, and also carried out Airbus A300 Zero G qualification flights.
Léopold Eyharts underwent two training sessions at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre near Moscow in 1991 and 1993, learning the Russian language and space techniques. He passed the European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut selection tests in 1992.
In July 1994 he was chosen as a back-up crewmember for the Franco-Russian Cassiopeia space flight, and in December 1996 was selected as payload specialist for the Pegase flight in August 1997, undergoing training in Star City near Moscow.
The Pegase mission onboard the Russian Space Station Mir successfully took place from 29 January to 19 February, 1998. During this Franco-Russian mission, Eyharts performed a number of experiments, thus completing the results of the Cassiopeia mission.
Eyharts entered the Mission Specialist Class at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, USA, in August 1998. He is one of a number of astronauts from European national space programmes who are being integrated into ESA's single European astronaut corps. ESA astronauts will be involved in the assembly and on-board operations of the International Space Station, a multinational programme that will place a permanently inhabited research facility in Earth orbit.
SPECIAL HONOURS: Léopold Eyharts is Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Mérite. He has been awarded the Médaille d'Outre-Mer and the Silver Medal of the Défense Nationale.
Mir Expedition EO-22. Valeriy Korzun and Aleksandr Kaleri of the Russian Space Agency (RKA) Claudie Andre-Deshays of the French space agency CNES. This launch was the first of the Soyuz-U booster with a crew aboard following two launch failures of on unmanned flights. Soyuz docked with Mir's front port at 14:50:21 GMT on August 19; Mir was in a 375 x 390 km x 51.6 deg orbit.
On Feb 7 at 16:28:01 GMT the EO-22 crew and American astronaut Linenger undocked the Soyuz TM-24 ferry from the front docking port, flew it around to the far side of the complex and redocked at the rear Kvant port at 16:51:27 GMT. This cleared the forward port for the arrival of the EO-23 crew, who brought with them German astronaut Reinhold Ewald on Feb 12. Korzun, Kaleri and Ewald undocked from Mir in the Soyuz TM-24 spaceship at 03:24 GMT on March 2 and landed at 06:44 GMT near Arkaylk in Kazakstan.
Soyuz TM-27 carried the Mir EO-25 crew and French astronaut Leopold Eyharts. NASA and the Russian Space Agency had hoped Soyuz TM-27 could dock with Mir while Endeavour was still there, resulting in an on-board crew of 13, a record which would have stood for years or decades. But the French vetoed this, saying the commotion and time wasted would ruin Eyharts Pegase experimental programme. Soyuz TM-27 docked at the Kvant module port at 17:54 GMT on January 31, 1998, less than five hours before Endeavour landed in Florida.
Solovyov handed over command of Mir to EO-25 commander Musabayev, and the Mir EO-24 crew and Eyharts undocked from the forward port of Mir at 05:52 GMT on February 19 aboard the Soyuz TM-26 for their return home. On February 20, the EO-25 crew and Andy Thomas of the NASA-7 mission boarded Soyuz TM-27 and undocked from the Kvant port at 08:48 GMT. They redocked with the forward port on Mir at 09:32 GMT. This freed up the Kvant port for a test redocking of the Progress M-37 cargo ship, parked in a following orbit with Mir during the crew transfer.
Soyuz TM-27 undocked from Mir at 02:05 GMT on August 25, with Musabayev, Budarin and Baturin aboard. They landed on August 25 at 05:23 UTC near Arkalyk in Kazakstan.