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National Aeronautics and
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Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
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Frank De Winne (ESA Photo)

European Space Agency (ESA) Astronaut

PERSONAL DATA: Born in Ghent, Belgium, 25 April 1961. He is married and has three children. Enjoys football, small PC applications and gastronomy .

EDUCATION: Frank De Winne graduated from the Royal School of Cadets, Lier, in 1979. He received a Masters degree in telecommunications and civil engineering from the Royal Military Academy, Brussels, in 1984. He was awarded the AIA Prize for the best thesis. In 1991, he completed the Staff Course at the Defence College in Brussels gaining the highest distinction. In 1992, he graduated from the Empire Test Pilots School (ETPS) in Boscombe Down, England, where he was awarded the McKenna Trophy.

ORGANIZATIONS: Chairman of the Belgian Armed Forces Flying Personnel Association.

SPECIAL HONORS: First non-American pilot to receive the Joe Bill Dryden Semper Viper Award, in 1997, for demonstrating exceptional skills during a flight. Appointed "Officier in de Orde van Oranje Nassau" by the Dutch Queen for shown leadership during operation Allied Force (July 1999). He was awarded the "Medal of Friendship" from the Russian Federation. In 2003 De Winne received an honorary doctorate from the University of Limburg.

EXPERIENCE : After completing his pilot training with the Belgian Air Force, in 1986, Frank De Winne was an operational pilot on Mirage V aircraft. Detached to the Company SAGEM in Paris in 1989, he then worked in the Mirage Safety Improvement Programme where he was responsible for the preparation of the operational and technical specifications of the Mirage upgrade programme.

In December 1992, he was appointed to the Test and Evaluation Branch of the Belgian Air Force. As a test pilot, he was involved in various activities, such as CARAPACE (an electronic warfare programme on F16) at Eglin Air Force Base, USA, and a Self-Protection Programme for the C130 aircraft. During that period, he also flew in Gosselies as a reception pilot in different aircraft types.

From January 1994 to April 1995, Frank De Winne was responsible for the flight safety programme of the 1st Fighter Wing at Beauvechain, Belgium.

From April 1995 to July 1996, as a senior test pilot in the European Participating Air Forces (EPAF), he was detached to Edwards Air Force Base, California, where he worked on the mid-life update of the F16 aircraft, focussing on radar testing.

From 1996 to August 1998, he was senior test pilot in the Belgian Air Force, responsible for all test programmes and for all pilot-vehicle interfaces for future aircraft/software updates.

From August 1998 to January 2000, Frank De Winne was the Squadron Commander of the 349th Fighter Squadron at Kleine Brogel Airbase, Belgium.

During Operation Allied Force, Frank De Winne was the detachment commander of the Deployable Air Task Force, a combined Belgian/Dutch detachment that flew about 2000 sorties during this Nato campaign. He has logged 17 combat sorties.

Frank De Winne has logged more than 2300 hours flying time on several types of high-performance aircraft including Mirage, F16, Jaguar and Tornado.

In January 2000, Frank De Winne joined the European Astronaut Corps of the European Space Agency (ESA), whose homebase is the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany.

De Winne provided technical support for the X38/ CRV Project Division within the Directorate of Manned Spaceflight and Microgravity, located at ESTEC, Noordwijk/Netherlands.

In August 2001, De Winne took up training at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre GCTC (Star City) near Moscow. Training includes elements of Basic Training for the International Space Station as well as training as Soyuz board engineer.

De Winne also supported the implementation of the White Paper on Space Policy with the European Commission and preparatory activities for the Soyuz at CSG (Guiana Space Centre) project.

In February 2007 De Winne was assigned as Expedition-16 back-up crew member and commenced training with Leo Eyharts, prime for Expedition-16.

He is currently assigned to the Expedition-19 crew and scheduled to arrive at the International Space Station in May 2009 aboard a Soyuz spacecraft

SPACEFLIGHT EXPERIENCE: From 30 October to 10 November 2002 De Winne participated in the Odissea mission, a support flight to the International Space Station. He served as flight engineer on the newly designed Soyuz TMA spacecraft during ascent, and on Soyuz TM during reentry.

A prime task of the 11-day mission was the replacement of the TM-34 Soyuz vehicle attached to the Space Station by the new TMA-1 spacecraft, in order to deliver a fresh "lifeboat" for the resident crew to be used in case of an emergency.

During his nine days on board the Space Station, De Winne, whose flight was sponsored by the Belgian Federal Office for Scientific, Technical and Cultural Affairs (OSTC), carried out successfully a programme of 23 experiments in the fields of life and physical sciences and education, including experiments in an important new research facility designed and developed in Europe, the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG).