Claudie Haignerè, the ESA astronaut, has been appointed to the post of
Minister for Research and New Technologies in the French government
announced yesterday.

Claudie Haignerè, 45, with an outstanding ‘cursus honoris”, a doctor with
a specialisation in rheumatology and a Ph.D in neurosciences, was selected
in 1985 as a candidate astronaut by the French space agency, CNES. She has
played a prominent role in the development of scientific applications of
manned spaceflight and in fostering scientific relations with Russia. Mrs
Haignerè is a permanent member of the French Academy of Technology and
holds the honours of Officier de la Lègion d’Honneur and Chevalier de
l’Ordre National du Mèrite.

In 1999 she joined the European Astronaut Corps of the European Space
Agency. She has taken part in two space missions with the Russians,
‘Cassiopèe’ in August 1996 and ‘Andromëde’ in October 2001. She was the
first woman to qualify as a Soyuz Return Commander (July 1999),
responsible for the three-person Soyuz capsule during a re-entry from
space, and was the first European woman to visit the International Space
Station (October 2001).

ESA’s Director General, Antonio Rodotà, expressed delight at this
appointment, “In our ‘space world’ Claudie Haignerè has demonstrated
really outstanding capabilities as a scientist as well as an astronaut
during her time with us. This appointment honours the European Space
Agency and puts Mrs Haignerè in a key position to shape the future of
Europe’s science and technology. I wish her all the best in her new

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