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Jean-Loup Jacques Marie Chrétien, born August 20, 1938 in La Rochelle, is a French general, a fighter pilot and then astronaut at CNES. He was the first Frenchman, the first francophone and the first Western European in space in 1982 (during the Franco-Soviet PVH mission). He was also the first non-Russian and non-American to make an extra-vehicular sortie into space.


Jean-Loup Chrétien attended his school curriculum at the municipal school of Ploujean, Saint-Charles College Saint-Brieuc and Notre-Dame-du-Mur high school in Morlaix. Then he attended the preparatory class at the École de l'air at Saint-Charles high school in Saint-Brieuc. Holder of a master's degree in aeronautical engineering and engineer of the École de l'air in 1961, Jean-Loup Chrétien is a test pilot at the Flight Test Center of Istres from 1970 to 1977, he is responsible for the program Mirage F1 from 1970 to 1973.

Jean-Loup Chrétien, an engineer from the École de l'Air, was selected as a CNES astronaut in 1980. He has three spaceflights under his belt, totaling 43 days of space mission. He made the first French manned flight from June 25 to July 2, 1982, during a Franco-Soviet mission. First French, but also the first Western European in space, he is an engineer aboard the Soyuz T-6 and the Salyut 7 station during the PVH mission, where he carries out nine scientific experiments in orbit. the fields of medicine, biology, astronomy and the development of materials in space.

For 9 years and a half, he will be part of the CNES board of directors, which he will leave in February 1999 to join the International Space Station (ISS) at the NASA center in Houston (Texas, United States), as American astronaut and assistant director of the Johnson Space Center (he also obtained US citizenship).

His three space missions are:

PVH Mission (1982)
French insignia of the French-Russian mission PVH (First Inhabited Flight) aboard the Soyuz T-6, in 1982.
After a two-year training at the Cité des étoiles, near Moscow in the USSR, to prepare the French-Soviet mission PVH (First Inhabited Flight), Jean-Loup Chrétien performs 189 hours of space flight aboard the vessel Soyuz T-6 and from the station Saliout 7 from June 25 to July 2, 1982. Patrick Baudry is then his lining.

Mission ARAGATZ (1988)
He flew a second space flight aboard Soyuz TM-7 (November 26 to December 21, 1988), after a new two-year training at the Cité des étoiles. He participates in the program of experiments of the Franco-Soviet scientific and technical mission ARAGATZ aboard the Mir station. On December 9, 1988, with Alexander Volkov, he conducted an EVA (extravehicular exit) of nearly six hours (5:57, then record time of an exit in space).

Mission STS-86 (1997)
From September 25 to October 5, 1997, he participated as mission specialist on the NASA STS-86 flight aboard the American Atlantis shuttle with mooring at the Russian Mir Orbital Station in which he stayed for four days.

Jean-Loup Chrétien is Vice-President of the Research & Development Department of Tietronix Software Inc. At the end of 2002, he created Tietronix Optics in Lannion (Côtes-d'Armor) to expand its applications on land.

Jean-Loup Chrétien is also president of Lannion-based Eclipse Aéro, which manages his speaker and professional pilot activities. His lectures range from his aerospace experience to the future of Man in Space and high technology.

Jean-Loup Chrétien also advised the Dassault president on space activities and served on the board of Brit Air. He is a member of the Air and Space Academy, the Space Explorers Association, the European Astronaut Association, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the International Academy of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Academy of Aeronautics. Honorary Chairman of 3i3s (International Independent Institute for Satellite Satellite Solutions) for the year 2010.

It totals more than 10,000 hours of flight on many types of aircraft. He was for five years president of the Society for Encouraging Progress.

He also took part in the event on 27 September 2014 in Nantes for the reunification of Brittany. He had come specially from Houston.

Decorations and honors

Commander of the Order of the Legion of Honor
Knight of the National Order of Merit
Hero of the Soviet Union (received in 1982, following his first flight Soyuz)
recipient of the Order of Lenin
Recipient of the Order of the Red Banner of Labor
recipient of the Medal for Merit in Space Exploration of Russia (received April 12, 2011 from the hands of President Medvedev)
recipient of the Nasa Distinguished Service Medal

Jean-Loup Chrétien is also a laureate of the Prix Henri Deutsch de la Meurthe of the Sports Academy in 1988, rewarding a sporting event that can lead to material progress, scientific or moral for humanity. He is also a member of the Council for the Air and Space Academy and the Air and Space Museum. He is a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the International Academy of Astronautics and the Space Explorers Association.
In 1990, he received the Grand Gold Medal of the Society for the Encouragement of Progress.
In 1998, the Association of Professional Journalists of Aeronautics and Space (AJPAE) awarded him the Icare prize.
There is also a college in Questembert, in Brittany (Morbihan), which bears his name, as well as a primary school in Prémesques, in the Nord department. He was elected Breton of the year by Armor magazine in 1997.

Jean-Loup Chrétien has four children from a first marriage and two girls from his second marriage to an American woman. He has 13 grandchildren.

Sports life
He is co-driver of Georges Houel - then aged 75 - during the Dakar Rally 1984 (car no 198), aboard a Renault Fuego 4 × 4 Turbo.

***In the movie The Infernal Control Tower directed by Eric Judor and released in 2016, Éric and Ramzy play Ernest Krakenkrick and Bachir Bouzouk, the two best French Air Force pilots in 1981 who are named to become the first astronauts French for the space program Ariane rocket while the third, played by Alexis van Stratum, is called Jean-Loup Muselim. But following the loss of mental faculties of the first two in the centrifuge test, the general announces that they will appoint two new volunteers, Jean-Loup Muselim is a parody reference to Jean-Loup Chrétien who was the first real French to go into space in 1982.
Jean-Loup Chrétien, Patrick Baudry and Bernard Chabbert, Space first: the first French in space, Paris, Plon, 1982, 306 p. (ISBN 978-2259009270)
Jean-Loup Chrétien, sonata in the light of earth: A Frenchman's itinerary in space, Paris, Denoël, coll. "Mediations", 1993 (ISBN 2-207-24153-X)
Jean-Loup Chrétien, Mir Mission: Logbook, Paris, Michel Lafon, coll. "Documents", 1998 (ISBN 978-2840983743)
Jean-Loup Chrétien and Catherine Alric, Dreams of stars, Paris, Alphée, coll. "Documents", 2009, 236 p. (ISBN 978-2753803855)