Astronaut Jean-Jacques Favier, the sixth Frenchman Space He died at the age of 73 during the US space shuttle Columbia, it was announced this Friday. National Center for Space Studies (CNES). A physicist and engineer by training, Jean-Jacques Favier was selected as an “experimental astronaut” by the French Space Agency in 1985, when he was a research engineer at the Atomic Energy Commission (CEA).
Within CNES, he became the science manager of the Mephisto space oven, which flew several times aboard the space shuttle Columbia. In 1995, he was assigned as a special astronaut for an experiment aboard the US spaceship Spacelab. He spent 16 days, 21 hours and 48 minutes in orbit from June 20 to July 7, 1996. Fourteen years later, Jean-Loup Chrétien became the first Frenchman to fly into space aboard a Russian ship. Soyuz.
Jean-Jacques Favier thus became “the first French scientist to stay in space”, notes CNES, paying tribute to his “exemplary career”. “He will leave his mark on future generations and inspire many of us,” says CNES CEO Philippe Baptiste in a press release. During his career, Jean-Jacques Favier was responsible for more than 30 physics experiments in micro-gravity.
After his career as an astronaut, he was involved in education and research, notably working on the CNES project to prepare a future lunar and/or Mars base.