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Jean-Loup Chrétien est un général français, pilote de chasse puis spationaute, astronaute et cosmonaute. Il est célèbre pour avoir été le premier Français, le premier francophone et le premier Européen de l’Ouest à aller dans l’espace en 1982. En récompense pour sa contribution à la conquête de l’espace, il a reçu à la fois le titre de Héros de l’Union Soviétique, celui de Commandeur de la légion d’honneur en France et la médaille des vols spatiaux de la NASA.


Depuis la fin de sa carrière d’astronaute, il continue de piloter des avions et s’est également lancé avec succès dans l’entrepreneuriat et le métier de conférencier. Il intervient sur les thèmes aventurier-explorateur, environnement et développement durable, énergie, évolution, conduite du changement, adaptation, gestion du stress, dépassement de soi, travail en équipe entre autre.

Jean-Loup Chrétien is a French general, fighter pilot then astronaut, astronaut and cosmonaut. He is famous for having been the first Frenchman, the first French-speaking person and the first Western European to go into space in 1982. As a reward for his contribution to the conquest of space, he received both the title of Hero of the Soviet Union, that of Commander of the Legion of Honor in France and the NASA spaceflight medal.


Since the end of his career as an astronaut, he continues to fly planes and has also successfully embarked on entrepreneurship and the profession of public speaker. Jean-Loup Chrétien works on the themes of adventurer-explorer, environment and sustainable development, energy, evolution, change management, adaptation, stress management, self-transcendence, teamwork, among others.


PERSONAL DATA : Born August 20, 1938, in the town of La Rochelle, France. Hobbies include skiing in Winter and sailing in Summer. He also enjoys golf, wind-surfing. In addition, he plays the church organ. His father, Jacques, was a Navy sailor,

EDUCATION : He entered L'Ecole de l' Air (the French Air Force Academy) at Salon de Provence in 1959, and graduated in 1961, receiving a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering. Graduated in 1970 from the French Test Pilot School EPNER. In 1982 from the Soviet Gagarin Cosmonaut Center and in 1995 from the NASA Johnson Space Center as an Astronaut candidate.

ORGANIZATIONS : Member of the board of the Accademie de l' Air et de l' Espace, and former member of the Board of the French Air and Space Museum. Former Counselor for Space Activities (Manned) to the President of Dassault Aviation. Member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the International Academy of Astronautics, and the Association of Space Explorers. Former member of the Board of BRIT AIR, an airline in his hometown, Morlaix. Doctor Honoris Causa Moscow Aviation Technology Institute.

SPECIAL HONORS : 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 Legion d’Honneur (Commander of the Order of the Legion of Honor); Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Merite (Knight of the National Order of Merit); Titulaire de la Medaille de l'Aeronautique (Holder of the Aeronautics Medal), and honorary citizenship of Arkalyk. NASA flight medal (or something like that, I don’t remember as I don’t pay much attention to honors)

EXPERIENCE  : Chretien received his fighter pilot/pilot-engineer wings in 1962, after one year of training on Mystere-4s. 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 B2s 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 Reception), 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. Chretien 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 12 000 hours of flying time in various aircraft, including Russias Tupolev 154, MIG 25, and Sukoi 26 and 27. A veteran of three space flights, Chretien 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 Chretien, 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. This flight made him the first Western non-American to go to space, as well as the first Western European.
Following the mission he was appointed Chief, CNES Astronaut Office.
Chretien was selected as the back-up payload specialist for STS-51G. During 1984-85, he participated in mission training at the Johnson Space Center.

JEAN LOUP CHRETIEN 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 and 57 minute EVA by Volkov and Chretien 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 those 2 missions Chretien experimented the first ultrasound devices in space and spent 100’s of hours both on the ground and in space familiarizing with that technology.
During 1990-93, Chretien 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).
Chretien has one patent with NASA in dynamic optical filtration systems and 6 others with Tietronix in the same technology.
Chretien is fluent in English and Russian.

NASA EXPERIENCE  : Chretien 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.
When reaching the official French age limit of 60, Chretien was offered by NASA to remain in Houston Johnson Space Center and become a US NASA Astronaut. He was initially assigned to work for the International Space Station program and later as the Deputy Director of the ISS Expedition Corp. At the same time he was assigned to the position of “Crew Operation Assistant” to the NASA JSC Director.
Chretien later acquired dual US-French citizenship.
Chretien retired from NASA in 2001 and has shifted his focus to developing a business career in the Houston, Texas area, and France. At the same time he keeps working at Tietronix Software, Inc. as the Vice President for research and development. Tietronix is closely linked to the NASA space program.
In 2010 he was assigned to the Consultative Group of the French Government “Grand Emprunt” program.