This page no longer updated from 31 October 2001. Latest version can be found at Eyharts

Leopold Eyharts Status: Active. Trained as: Cosmonaut. Profession: Engineer . Sex: Male. Marital Status: Married. Children: One. Birth Date: 28 April 1957. Birth City: Biarritz. Birth Country: France. Nationality: French. Group: 1994 International Group. Date Selected: 01 July 1990. Number of Flights: 1. Total Time: 20.69 days.

ESA Official Biography

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.

FAMILY: Married.

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.

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