Biographies of International Astronauts

De Winne

Frank Luc


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Personal data

Birthdate:  25.04.1961
Birthplace:  Ghent
Marital status:  married
Children:  three
Selection date:  19.10.1998
Selection group:  EAC
Position:  SS / Test Cosmonaut (TC)
Status:  Ret. 01.08.2012


No. Mission Position Time Duration
1  Soyuz TMA-1 / Soyuz TM-34  Flight Engineer  30.10. - 10.11.2002 10d 20h 53m 
2  Soyuz TMA-15 / ISS-20 / ISS-21  Flight Engineer / ISS-CDR  27.05. - 01.12.2009 187d 20h 41m 
Total  198d 17h 34m 

Backup assignments

No. Mission Position
1  STS-122  Flight Engineer

Additional information

Education: 1979: graduated from the Royal School of Cadets, Lier, Belgium; 1984: awarded the AIA Prize for the best thesis on his masters degree in telecommunications and civil engineering from the Royal Military Academy, Brussels, Belgium;1991: completed the Staff Course at the Defence College in Brussels, gaining the highest distinction; 1992: graduated from the Empire Test Pilot’s School in Boscombe Down, United Kingdom, where he was awarded the McKenna Trophy.
After completing his pilot training with the Belgian Air Force in 1986, Frank De Winne flew Mirage V aircraft. He was detached to SAGEM in Paris, France in 1989 where he worked on the Mirage Safety Improvement Programme. He was responsible for preparing operational and technical specifications. In December 1992, Frank De Winne was appointed to the Test and Evaluation branch of the Belgian Air Force. As a test pilot, he was involved in an electronic warfare programme on the F16 called CARAPACE at Eglin Air Force Base, USA, and a Self-Protection Programme for the C130 aircraft. During that period, he also flew from Gosselies in Charleroi, Belgium, as a reception pilot in different types of aircraft. 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, when he was detached to Edwards Air Force Base, California, USA, he worked on an update of the F16 aircraft, focusing on radar testing. From 1996 to August 1998, Frank De Winne was a senior test pilot in the Belgian Air Force, responsible for all test programmes and for all pilot–vehicle interfaces for aircraft and 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 the NATO campaign. Frank De Winne has logged 17 combat sorties. Frank De Winne has logged more than 2300 hours flying time on several high-performance aircraft, including the Mirage, F16, Jaguar and Tornado.
In January 2000, Frank De Winne joined ESA’s Astronaut Corps based at the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany. He provided technical support for the X38 Crew Return Vehicle project, located at ESA's research and technology centre, ESTEC, in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.
Head of the European Astronaut Centre since August 01, 2012.
He enjoys football, fishing and gastronomy.

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Last update on April 20, 2018.