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CXC Biographies: Michel Tognini
(Brigadier General, French Air Force) ESA Astronaut
Michel Tognini

Personal Data - Born September 30, 1949, in Vincennes, France. Four children. Hobbies include Aeroclub, parachuting and parafoil, tennis, wind-surfing, water-skiing, snow-skiing, cross-country running, wave-surfing, microcomputers.

Education - Tognini was educated at Lycee de Cachan, Paris. Received an advanced mathematics degree in 1970 from Epa Grenoble (military school). He enrolled at Ecole de l'Air,(the French Air Force Academy), Salon de Provence, France, graduating with an engineering degree in 1973. Tognini attended the Empire Test Pilots School, Boscombe Down, United Kingdom, in 1982, and the Institut des Hautes Etudes de Defense Nationale (IHEDN) in 1993-94.

Special Honors - French Aeronautics Medal; Chevalier de Ordre National du Mérite; Commander dans l'Ordre de la Légion d'Honneur; Soviet Order of Friendship between the People; Russian Order of Friendship between the People.

Qualifications - Engineer from the "Ecole de l'Air." Fighter Pilot (all levels). Test Pilot. Airline Pilot. Military Technical Diploma (BTEM). Cosmonaut Diploma from the Soviet Union.

Experience - Following graduation in 1973 from the Ecole de l'Air, Tognini was posted to advanced fighter pilot training at squadron based at Normandie-Neman where he served for one year before obtaining his advanced fighter pilot training. From 1974-1981, he served as an operational fighter pilot in French Air Force (Cambrai Air Base), at the 12th Escadre de Chasse, flying SMB2 and Mirage F1 aircraft. During this tour of duty he served as flight leader in 1976, and flight commander in 1979. In 1982, he was admitted to the Empire Test Pilot School in Boscombe Down, United Kingdom, and later that year was awarded his test pilot diploma. He was awarded his military studies diploma in 1983. Tognini was then posted to the Cazaux Flight Test Center, France, initially as a test pilot and subsequently as chief test pilot. During his time there, he helped test a great deal of French flight hardware. He did the weapon systems testing for the Mirage 2000-C, Mirage 2000-N, Jaguar ATLIS, and FLIR aircraft, and was also responsible for flight safety for pilots, experimenters and flight engineers. In 1985, France opened a recruitment program to expand its astronaut corps, and Tognini was one of seven finalists selected in September 1985. In July 1986, he was one of four candidates to undergo medical examinations in Moscow. In August 1986, he was assigned as the back-up for the Soyuz TM-7 mission. Although Tognini remained a French Air Force officer, he was placed on detachment to CNES for his space flight activities from September 1986 onwards. In November 1986 he reported to the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, Star City, Russia, for alternate astronaut training, including EVA, for the Soviet-French ARAGATZ mission. During 1989-1990 he supported the HERMES program in Toulouse, France. In 1991 he returned to Star City, Russia, to start prime crew training for the 3rd Soviet-French ANTARES mission. During his stay in Russia Tognini also gained piloting experience of BURAN simulators (MIG 25, TUPOLEV 154).

Tognini has 4000 flight hours on 80 types of aircraft (mainly fighter aircraft including MIG 25, TUPOLEV 154, LIGHTNING MK 3 and MK 5, METEOR, and F 104). He is fluent in English and Russian.

Tognini made his first space flight on board the Soyuz TM-15, TM-14 (July 27 to August 10, 1992). Together with Anatoly Solovyev and Sergei Avdeiev he linked up with Mir 1 (ANTARES mission) and joined the crew of Alexandre Viktorenko and Alexandre Kaleri already on board. They spent 14 days carrying out a program of joint Soviet-French experiments before returning to Earth.

He returned to France following the mission. During 1993-94, he attended a training cycle of the French Institute for High Studies of National Defense (IHEDN).

Publications - Use of new systems for future aircraft (classified report, 70p). Boscombe Down Preview on Lightning Mk III (report, 300p). The SOYUZ spacecraft system (CNES report, 150p).

NASA Experience - Tognini attended ASCAN Training at the Johnson Space Center during 1995. He was initially assigned to the Operations Planning Branch of the Astronaut Office working technical issues on the International Space Station. Tognini served aboard Space Shuttle Columbia on STS-93 (July 22-27, 1999). During the 5-day mission his primary task was to assist in the deployment of the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, and to conduct a spacewalk if needed. The Chandra X-Ray Observatory is designed to conduct comprehensive studies of the universe, and the telescope will enable scientists to study exotic phenomena such as exploding stars, quasars, and black holes. Mission duration was 118 hours and 50 minutes.

A veteran of two space flights, Tognini has logged a total of 19 days in space.


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