Pedro Duque

Pedro Duque

The first Spanish astronaut.
Date of Birth: 14.03.1963
Country: Spain

Biography of Pedro Duque

Pedro Duque is a Spanish astronaut who became the first Spaniard to travel to space. He was born on March 14, 1963, in Madrid, Spain. Duque graduated from the Madrid Polytechnic University in 1986 with a degree in astrogation. During his time at the university, he worked in the mechanical laboratory and contributed to the development of a flight simulator.

After completing his studies, Duque worked at GMV (Grupo Mechanics del Vuelo) and was involved in the development of helicopter rotor models. In late 1986, he was assigned to continue his work at the European Space Agency (ESA) in Darmstadt, Germany, where he joined the ballistic calculations group. From 1986 to 1992, he developed algorithms and software for orbit calculations of spacecraft.

In May 1992, Duque was selected to join the European Astronaut Corps. He completed his initial training at ESA and underwent a four-week training program at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Russia. From January to July 1993, he underwent his main training at ESA. In August 1993, he returned to the Gagarin Center for further training as part of the EUROMIR'94 program.

After completing his training, Duque obtained the qualification of "research astronaut" for flights aboard Soyuz TM spacecraft and the Mir space station. From May to October 1994, he trained with Russian cosmonauts Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Avdeyev as part of the backup crew for the Soyuz TM-20 mission.

Duque's first space flight took place during the EUROMIR'94 mission from October 3 to November 4, 1994. He provided support from the Russian Mission Control Center for European astronaut Ulf Merbold's activities in Earth's orbit. For his participation in the EUROMIR'94 mission, Duque was awarded the Russian Order of Friendship.

In January 1995, Duque began training for the EUROMIR'95 mission. He participated in supporting European astronaut Thomas Reiter's flight aboard the Russian complex "Mir" in the second half of 1995. In May 1995, he was selected as a backup astronaut for the STS-78 mission aboard the space shuttle Columbia.

In June and July 1996, Duque served as a communications operator between the space shuttle and NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, during the STS-78 mission. In July 1996, he was selected to join the NASA astronaut group as a mission specialist. He underwent a two-year training program at NASA Johnson Space Center.

From October 29 to November 7, 1998, Duque flew as a mission specialist aboard the space shuttle Discovery (STS-95). The mission lasted 8 days, 21 hours, 43 minutes, and 57 seconds. Duque provided operational support during the mission's orbital activities.

Outside of his astronaut career, Duque is passionate about scuba diving and cycling. The materials from NASA were used in the preparation of Pedro Duque's biography.

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