Patrick Baudry is the most renowned French astronaut, and a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the French Air Force. In 1985 he became the second French citizen in space, after Jean-Loup Chretien, when he flew aboard NASA’s Space Shuttle mission STS-51-G Discovery.
Baudry became a CNES astronaut in 1980. For two years, he trained at CNES and at Star City near Moscow. He was a member of the back-up crew of the French-Soviet mission and was trained for scientific experiments in the fields of physiology, biology, materials processing in space, and astronomy. He was selected from a pool of 2000 candidates to take part in the Interkosmos – CNES orbital space mission.
In 1984 he joined the Johnson Space Centre, Houston, Texas. After a year of training, he was assigned to the Mission 51-E and then to the Mission 51-G. The main objective of the mission, was to deliver three satellites into orbit. Baudry had responsibility for a scientific and medical programme for French and American research laboratories.
At the peak of his space career, Baudry flew as a payload specialist on STS-51G Discovery (June 17-24, 1985). The international crew aboard Discovery deployed communications satellites for Mexico, the Arab League, and the United States. They deployed and later retrieved the SPARTAN satellite, which performed 17 hours of x-ray astronomy experiments. In completing this flight, Baudry travelled 2.5 million miles in 112 Earth orbits, logging over 169 hours in space.
In 1986 he was appointed Adviser to the Chairman of Aerospatiale Company. He was the test pilot for the European space plane Hermes, for which Aerospatiale was the industrial prime contractor.
From 1993 to 2003, Baudry was advisor for manned space flights at EADS, and senior test pilot for Airbus. He founded the first European Space Training Centre in Cannes for preparation for life in space.
Earlier in his career Patrick was a fighter pilot, receiving his wings in 1970. Over his career he has logged more than 4,000 hours flying time – 3,300 in jet aircraft – and has flown over 100 different types of aircraft – F100, F104, F4, A8, T33, Lightning, Harrier, Hunter, Canberra, Jaguar, all types of Mirages, Mystere 4, Vautour, and other aircraft.