ESA Astronaut Léopold Eyharts
ESA Astronaut Léopold Eyharts
Born 28 April 1957, in Biarritz, France. He is married and has one child. His hobbies are jogging, mountain biking, tennis, reading and computers.
Graduated as an engineer from the French Air Force Academy of Salon-de-Provence in 1979. He qualified as a fighter pilot in Tours in 1980 and graduated from the French test pilot school (EPNER) in Istres in 1988.
He joined the French Air Force Academy of Salon-de-Provence and graduated as an aeronautical engineer in 1979. In 1980 he became a fighter pilot assigned to an operational Jaguar A squadron in Istres Air Force Base. In 1985, he was assigned as a flight commander at Saint-Dizier Air Force base.
In 1988 he graduated as a test pilot in the French test pilot school (EPNER) and was assigned to the Brétigny-sur-Orge Flight Test Centre near Paris, becoming Chief Test Pilot in 1990.
Eyharts has logged 3500 hours flying time on over 50 types of aircraft and 21 parachute jumps including one ejection. He holds a commission as Colonel in the French Air Force.
In 1990, Léopold Eyharts was selected as an astronaut by the French National Space Agency (CNES) and assigned to support the Hermes space plane programme within the Hermes Crew Office in Toulouse. He also became one of the test pilots and engineers in charge of the CNES parabolic flight programme (with Caravelle aircraft) and also carried out Airbus A300 Zero-G qualification flights.
Léopold Eyharts underwent two short-duration training sessions at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre near Moscow in 1991 and 1993, and took part in an evaluation of Russian Buran Space Shuttle training in Moscow, where he flew in the Tupulev 154 Buran in-flight simulator.
In 1992, he participated in the European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut selection. In July 1994, he was assigned as a back-up crewmember for the Franco-Russian Cassiopée space flight, which took place in August 1996.
In December 1996, he was selected as cosmonaut for the CNES follow-on scientific space mission called Pegase, which took place from 29 January to 19 February 1998. In August 1998, Léopold Eyharts joined ESA's European Astronaut Corps whose homebase is the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) located in Cologne, Germany. He was assigned to train at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas and entered the 1998 Mission Specialist Class. Léopold Eyharts received technical assignments within the NASA Astronaut Office at the Johnson Space Center, Houston. He worked in the ISS Operations Branch as a section chief for ISS Systems, software, and on-board information technology.
Mission to the Russian Mir Space Station (29 January to 19 February 1998). During this Franco-Russian mission called Pegase, he performed various French experiments in the area of medical research, neuroscience, biology, fluid physics and technology.
Léopold Eyharts was assigned as backup of Thomas Reiter for ESA's first long duration mission to the International Space Station. Since October 2004 he is performing training together with his American and Russian backup crewmembers at Yuri A. Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre near Moscow and at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston.