Previously published in Examiner
Part 6 of the female astronaut series
We will end this female astronaut series with home-grown Montreal astronaut Julie Payette
Claudie Haigneré nee Claudie André-Deshays; was born on May 13, 1957 was the first French female Astronaut. She was born in Le Creusot, Saône-et-Loire, France. Claudie is a very remarkable and accomplished woman, being a former astronaut, with the Centre National d’Études Spatiales (1985-1999) and the European Space Agency (1999-2002) and also a doctor and politician.
Claudie took up medicine at the Faculté de Médecine (Paris-Cochin) and Faculté des Sciences (Paris-VII). In 1981 she got her certificate in biology and sports medicine. In 1982 she obtained certificates in space medicine and aviation. In 1984, she went on to get a certificate in rheumatology. She obtained diploma in the biomechanics and physiology of movement in 1986 and by 1992 she earned her PhD in neuroscience.
Claudie met her future husband, Jean-Pierre Haigneré aboard the 1993 Mir Altaïr mission where she served as a backup crew member. In 1996, Claudie spent 16 days at the Mir Space Station, forming as part of the Russian-French Cassiopée ( named after a northern constellation in the sky) mission.
In 1991, Claudie was the first European woman to set foot on the International Space station, during the the Andromède mission named after the Andromeda northern constellation.
Claudie Haigneré served in politics under the Jean-Pierre Raffarin government (6 May 2002 – 31 May 2005), as minister for European Affairs and minister delegate for research and new technologies.
The asteroid135268 Haigneré is named in honour after the couple..
“Honorary Member of the Société Francaise de Médecine Aéronautique et Spatiale, Corresponding Member of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), Honorary Member and Administrateur of the Association Aéronautique et Astronautique de France (AAAF), Member of the Académie de l’Air et de l’Espace (ANAE).
Patron of the Cité de l’Espace in Toulouse, the Institut de Myologie de la Pitié-Salpétrière set up by the Association Française contre les Myopathies (AFM), as well as of the Fondation Clarins-Arthritis.” http://www.esa.int/esaHS/M8AVCKSC_astronauts_0.html
She is involved with many social and medical organizations such as “maison de parents for hospitalized children, l’Alliance des Maladies Rares with Fondation Groupama and the Kourir association for children suffering from juvenile polyarthritis.”
Other special honoursCommandeur de la Légion d’Honneur
Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite
The Russian “Order of Friendship
The Russian Medal for Personal Valour