• Nationality


  • Missions

    Odissea-Mission & ISS-Expedition 21

Frank De Winne




Frank De Winne is an astro­naut of the European Space Agency (ESA). He is the sec­ond Belgian astro­naut, after Dirk Frimout, and the first European astro­naut to com­mand the ISS.

Viscount Frank De Winne, born 25 April 1961 in Ghent, obtained diplo­mas in telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions and civ­il engi­neer-poly­tech­ni­cian at the Royal Military Academy in Brussels. Afterwards, he fol­lowed a fly­ing course and obtained his test pilot’s licence. De Winne has more than 2,300 hours of fly­ing expe­ri­ence in var­i­ous types of air­crafts, includ­ing Mirage, F‑16, Tornado and Jaguar.

De Winne went on two mis­sions into space. In 2002, he par­tic­i­pat­ed in the Odissea mis­sion, a sup­port flight to the International Space Station. One of the main tasks of the 11-day mis­sion was to replace a space vehi­cle attached to the ISS with a new TMA space­craft. This was to pro­vide a more mod­ern res­cue ship” for the crew to use in case of emer­gency. During his stay on board the ISS, De Winne car­ried out exper­i­ments in the fields of life sci­ence, nat­ur­al sci­ences and education. 

His sec­ond mis­sion took place in 2009, ISS-Expedition 21, for which he spent six months in the International Space Station (ISS). There, he car­ried out exper­i­ments to increase our knowl­edge of cer­tain reac­tions in space. During this mis­sion he became the first European com­man­der of the ISS.

After his long-term space­flight, Frank de Winne went to work on var­i­ous mis­sion-relat­ed tasks, such as phys­i­cal recov­ery after a space­flight, debrief­ing and out­reach activ­i­ties. De Winne was appoint­ed Chairman of the Technical Committee of the sec­ond EU-ESA Space Exploration Conference.