Encyclopedia Astronautica

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Chretien, Jean-Loup Jacques Marie (1938-) French test pilot mission specialist astronaut. Flew on Salyut 7 EP-1, Mir Aragatz, STS-86. First French astronaut. Trained for missions under both US and Russian programs.

Total EVA Time: 0.25 days. Number of EVAs: 1.

NASA Official Biography

NAME: Jean-Loup J.M. Chrétien (Brigadier-General, French Air Force)
CNES Astronaut - Chief CNES Astronaut Office

Born August 20, 1938, in the town of La Rochelle, France. Married to Amy Kristine Jensen of New Canaan, Connecticut. Five children (one deceased). Hobbies include skiing in Winter and sailing in Summer. He also enjoys golf, wind-surfing, car-rallying and woodworking. In addition, he plays the church organ, and took an electric one with him during his first stay in Star City, Russia. His father, Jacques, was a Navy sailor, and his mother, the former Marie-Blanche Coudurier, was a housewife. Her parents, Nels and Betty Jensen, reside in Tarpon Springs, Florida.

Chrétien was educated at L'Ecole communale a Ploujean, the College Saint-Charles a Saint-Brieuc, and the Lycee de Morlaix. He entered L'Ecole de l' Air (the French Air Force Academy) at Salon deProvence in 1959, and graduated in 1961, receiving a master's degree in aeronautical engineering.

Member of the board of the Accademie de l' Air et de l' Espace, and the French Air and Space Museum. Counselor for Space Activities (Manned) to the President of Dassault Aviation. Counselor to the President of Air France. Member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the International Academy of Astronautics, and the Association of Space Explorers.

Awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. Recipient of the Order of Lenin; the Order of the Red Banner of Labor; Commandeur de la Légion d'Honneur (Commander of the Order of the Legion of Honor); Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Mérite (Knight of the National Order of Merit); Titulaire de la Médaille de l'Aéronautique (Holder of the Aeronautics Medal), and honorary citizenship of Arkalyk.

Chrétien received his fighter pilot/pilot-engineer wings in 1962, after one year of training on Mystere-4's. He was promoted to Lieutenant, and joined the 5th Fighter Squadron in Orange, in the Southeast of France, where he served for seven years as a fighter pilot in an operational squadron flying Super-Mystere B2's and then Mirage III interceptors. In 1970, he was assigned to the French test pilots school, EPNER (Ecole du Personnel Navigant d'Essais et de Réception), then served as a test pilot at the Istres Flight Test Center for seven years. During that time he was responsible for supervising the flight test program for the Mirage F-1 fighter. In 1977-78, he was appointed Deputy Commander of the South Air Defense Division in Aix en Provence, and he served in this position until his selection as a cosmonaut in June 1980. Chrétien remained a French Air Force officer but was placed on detachment to CNES for his space flight activities ensuring his availability for future flights with the Shuttle (NASA), Mir (Soviet Union) or Spacelab (ESA). He has accumulated over 6000 hours of flying time in various aircraft, including Russia's Tupolev 154, MIG 25, and Sukoi 26 and 27. A veteran of three space flights, Chrétien was the 10th Intercosmos cosmonaut, and has spent a total of 43 days, 11 hours, 18 minutes, 42 seconds in space, including an EVA of 5 hours, 57 minutes.

In April 1979, the Soviet Union offered France the opportunity to fly a cosmonaut on board a joint Soviet-French space flight, along the same lines as the agreement to fly non-Soviet cosmonauts from member countries of the Intercosmos program. The offer was accepted, and France began a cosmonaut selection program in September 1979. Chrétien was one of two finalists named on June 12, 1980. He started training at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in September 1980. The following year he was named as the research-cosmonaut for the prime crew of the Soyuz T-6 mission.

Soyuz T-6 was launched on June 24, 1982, and Chrétien, Dzhanibekov and Ivanchenkov linked up with Salyut 7 and joined the crew of Berezovoi and Lebedev already on board. They spent nearly seven days carrying out a program of joint Soviet-French experiments, including a series of French echography cardiovascular monitoring system experiments, before returning to Earth after a flight lasting 7 days, 21 hours, 50 minutes, 42 seconds.

Following the mission he was appointed Chief, CNES Astronaut Office.

Chrétien was selected as the back-up payload specialist for STS-51G. During 1984-85, he participated in mission training at the Johnson Space Center.

Chrétien made his second space flight as a research-cosmonaut on board Soyuz TM-7, which launched on November 26, 1988. Together with Volkov and Krikalev, he linked up with Mir 1 and joined the crew of Titov Manarov and Polyakov already on board. They spent 22 days carrying out a program of joint Soviet-French experiments, including a 5 hour 57 minute EVA by Volkov and Chrétien during which the two men installed the French ERA experimental deployable structure and a panel of material samples. In making the EVA, he became the first non-American and non-Soviet cosmonaut to walk in space. In addition, he was the first non-Soviet cosmonaut to make a second space flight aboard a Soviet spacecraft. The mission lasted 24 days, 18 hours, 7 minutes.

During 1990-93, Chrétien participated in Buran spacecraft pilot training at the Moscow Joukovski Institute. He has also flown the Tupolev 154 and MIG 25 aircraft, flying simulators equivalent to the Shuttle Training Aircraft (STA).

Chrétien is fluent in English and Russian.

Chrétien attended ASCAN Training at the Johnson Space Center during 1995. He was initially assigned to work technical issues for the Operations Planning Branch of the Astronaut Office. He served on the crew of STS-86 Atlantis (September 25 to October 6, 1997) the seventh mission to rendezvous and dock with the Russian Space Station Mir. Highlights included the delivery of a Mir attitude control computer, the exchange of U.S. crew members Mike Foale and David Wolf, a spacewalk by Scott Parazynski and Vladimir Titov to retrieve four experiments first deployed on Mir during the STS-76 docking mission, the transfer to Mir of 10,400 pounds of science and logistics, and the return of experiment hardware and results to Earth. Mission duration was 10 days, 19 hours, 21 minutes.


Birth Place: La Rochelle.
Status: Inactive.

Born: 1938.08.20.
Spaceflights: 3 .
Total time in space: 43.47 days.

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
See also
  • NASA Group 15 - 1995 Requirement: pilot, engineer, and scientist astronauts for space shuttle flights. Nickname: The Flying Escargot. Originally dubbed the 'snails' by the Hogs, because they were supposed to be the class of 1994, but the announcement was delayed a year;. They renamed themselves with the better-sounding French equivalent. More...

Associated Flights
  • Salyut 7 EP-1 Crew: Chretien, Dzhanibekov, Ivanchenkov. First French astronaut. Manned three crew. Mission to swap Soyuz lifeboats docked to station. Backup crew: Baudry, Kizim, Solovyov Vladimir. More...
  • Mir EP-3 Crew: Lyakhov, Mohmand. First Afghani astronaut. Mission to swap Soyuz lifeboats docked to station. Backup crew: Berezovoi, Masum. More...
  • Mir LD-2 Crew: Polyakov. Physician; remained aboard Mir to monitor the EO-3 crew to the end of their record year-long mission and the EO-4 crew for the first months of their mission. Backup crew: Arzamazov. More...
  • Mir Aragatz Crew: Chretien. French mission to Mir; record duration for a non-Soviet aboard one of their space stations; first French spacewalk. TM-6 computer first landing aborted. Backup software program used and TM-6 landed successfully. Backup crew: Tognini. More...
  • Mir NASA-5 Crew: Wolf. Wolf relieved Foale as NASA resident on the Mir station. Backup crew: Thomas Andrew. More...
  • STS-86 Crew: Bloomfield, Chretien, Lawrence, Parazynski, Titov Vladimir, Wetherbee. Flyaround focused on the damaged Spektr Module to determine the location of the puncture in its hull. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
Associated Programs
  • Mir The Mir space station was the last remnant of the once mighty Soviet space programme. It was built to last only five years, and was to have been composed of modules launched by Proton and Buran/Energia launch vehicles. These modules were derived from those originally designed by Chelomei in the 1960's for the Almaz military station programme. As the Soviet Union collapsed Mir stayed in orbit, but the final modules were years late and could only be completed with American financial assistance. Kept flying over a decade beyond its rated life, Mir proved a source of pride to the Russian people and proved the ability of their cosmonauts and engineers to improvise and keep operations going despite all manner of challenges and mishaps. More...
  • Salyut 7 Due to cancellation of the Almaz military station, and delays in the Mir project, the decision was taken in the late 1970's to fly the back-up to DOS-5 / Salyut 6. This was launched as Salyut 7 in 1982. The opportunity was still taken to fly 'guest cosmonauts' from friendly countries on short visits to the stations, although emphasis was placed on military experiments. Salyut 7 was able to conduct significant military experiments thanks to the greatly increased volume and payload of the TKS modules diverted from the Almaz programme that docked with the station. More...

  • NASA Astronaut Biographies, Johnson Space Center, NASA, 1995-present. Web Address when accessed: here.

Chretien Chronology

1982 June 24 - . 16:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U.
  • Soyuz T-6 - . Call Sign: Pamir (Pamirs ). Crew: Chretien; Dzhanibekov; Ivanchenkov. Backup Crew: Baudry; Kizim; Solovyov, Vladimir. Payload: Soyuz T s/n 9L. Mass: 6,850 kg (15,100 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chretien; Dzhanibekov; Ivanchenkov; Baudry; Kizim; Solovyov, Vladimir. Agency: MOM. Program: Salyut 7. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Salyut 7 EP-1; Salyut 7 EO-1. Spacecraft: Soyuz T. Duration: 7.91 days. Decay Date: 1982-07-02 . USAF Sat Cat: 13292 . COSPAR: 1982-063A. Apogee: 233 km (144 mi). Perigee: 189 km (117 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 88.70 min. Manned three crew. Docked with Salyut 7. Transported to the Salyut-7 orbital station the Soviet-French international crew, comprising V A Dzhanibekov (USSR), A S Ivanchenkov (USSR) and Jean-Loup Chretien (France) to conduct scientific research and experiments.

1982 July 2 - .
1988 November 26 - . 15:49 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Soyuz TM-7 - . Call Sign: Donbass (Donbass - River Don basin). Crew: Chretien; Krikalyov; Volkov, Aleksandr. Backup Crew: Serebrov; Tognini; Viktorenko. Payload: Soyuz TM 11F732 s/n 57. Mass: 7,000 kg (15,400 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chretien; Krikalyov; Volkov, Aleksandr; Serebrov; Tognini; Viktorenko. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-4; Mir Aragatz; Mir LD-2; Mir EO-3. Spacecraft: Soyuz TM. Duration: 151.47 days. Decay Date: 1989-04-27 . USAF Sat Cat: 19660 . COSPAR: 1988-104A. Apogee: 235 km (146 mi). Perigee: 194 km (120 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.80 min. Mir Expedition EO-04. Carried Alexander Volkov, Sergei Krikalev, Jean-Loup Chretien to Mir; returned Volkov, Krikalev to Earth. Initial Orbit: 194 X 235 km. Thereafter maneuvered to rendezvous orbit 256 X 291 km before docking with Mir in 337 X 369 km at 17:16 GMT 28 November.

1988 December 9 - . 09:57 GMT - .
1988 December 21 - .
  • Landing of Soyuz TM-6 - . Return Crew: Chretien; Manarov; Titov, Vladimir. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chretien; Manarov; Titov, Vladimir. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-4; Mir Aragatz; Mir LD-2; Mir EO-3. Soyuz TM-6 landed at 09:57 GMT with the crew of Chretien, Manarov and Titov Vladimir aboard. Undocked from Mir 21 December 1989 at 03:33 GMTwith the crew of Chretien, Manarov and Titov Vladimir aboard. Revised software installed as a result of TM-5 abort overloaded computer. Landing planned for 06:48 aborted. Backup program used. Orbital Module retained through retrofire. Landed December 21, 1988 09:57 GMT, 180 km SE of Dzhezkazgan.

1997 September 26 - . 02:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-86.
  • STS-86 - . Call Sign: Atlantis. Crew: Wetherbee; Bloomfield; Titov, Vladimir; Parazynski; Chretien; Lawrence; Wolf. Payload: Atlantis F20 / Spacehab-DM. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Wetherbee; Bloomfield; Titov, Vladimir; Parazynski; Chretien; Lawrence; Wolf. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-86; Mir NASA-5; Mir NASA-4; Mir EO-24. Spacecraft: Atlantis. Duration: 10.81 days. Decay Date: 1997-10-06 . USAF Sat Cat: 24964 . COSPAR: 1997-055A. Apogee: 381 km (236 mi). Perigee: 354 km (219 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 91.90 min. Atlantis was launched on a mission to the Russian Mir space station. The TI rendevous terminal initiation burn was carried out at 17:32 GMT on September 27, and Atlantis docked with the SO (Docking Module) on the Mir complex at 19:58 GMT. The crew exchange was completed on September 28, with David Wolf replacing Michael Foale on the Mir crew. On October 1 cosmonaut Titov and astronaut Parazynski conducted a spacewalk from the Shuttle payload bay while Atlantis was docked to Mir. They retrieved four MEEP (Mir Environmental Effects Payload ) exposure packages from Mir's SO module and installed the Spektr solar array cap. The MEEP experiments had been attached to the Docking Module by astronauts Linda Godwin and Rich Clifford during Shuttle mission STS-76 in March 1996. In addition to retrieving the MEEP, Parazynski and Titov were to continue an evaluation of the Simplified Aid For EVA Rescue (SAFER), a small jet-backpack designed for use as a type of life jacket during station assembly.

    Atlantis undocked from Mir at 17:28 GMT on October 3 and conducted a flyaround focused on the damaged Spektr Module to determine the location of the puncture in its hull. The Mir crew pumped air into the Spektr Module using a pressure regulator valve, and the Shuttle crew observed evidence that, as expected, the leak seemed to be located at the base of the damaged solar panel. Final separation of Atlantis from Mir took place around 20:28 GMT. After two landing attempts were waved off on October 5 due to heavy cloud cover, the crew fired the engines to deorbit at 20:47 GMT on October 6 and landed at Kennedy Space Center at 21:55.

1997 October 6 - .
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