Astronaut in French

December 19, 2013
Say an astronaut in French

Jean-Loup Jacques Marie Chrétien (born 20 August 1938) is a French retired Général de Brigade (brigadier general) in the (French air force), and a former CNES spationaut. He flew on two Franco-Soviet space missions and a NASA Space Shuttle mission. Chrétien was the first Frenchman and the first western European in space.


Born in the town of La Rochelle, France. Married to and then divorced from Amy Kristine Jensen of New Canaan, Connecticut. Five children (one deceased), among whom one daughter named Lauren with Amy. Lauren and her mother currently live in Houston, TX. 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. Chrétien is fluent in French, English and Russian.


Chrétien was educated at L'École communale à Ploujean, the Collège Saint-Charles à Saint-Brieuc, and the Lycée de Morlaix. He entered the École 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.


Member of the board of the, and 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. Member of the Board of BRIT AIR, an airline in his hometown, Morlaix.

Awards and honors[edit]

Chrétien received his fighter pilot/pilot-engineer wings in 1962, after one year of training on Mystère IVs. 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 Defence 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 8000 hours of flying time in various aircraft, including Russia’s Tupolev 154, MiG-25, and Sukhoi Su-26 and Sukhoi Su-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.

See also:
ISS Astronaut Talks About Life in Space with BBC
ISS Astronaut Talks About Life in Space with BBC
French astronaut lands back on earth
French astronaut lands back on earth
Lely Astronaut A4 - How does it work? - 2014 - French
Lely Astronaut A4 - How does it work? - 2014 - French
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