Clervoy , Jean-Francois

Jean-Francois Clervoy is a French engineer and test pilot, a CNES and ESA astronaut, and a veteran of three NASA Space Shuttle missions. He was born Jean-Francois André Clervoy on November 19, 1958 in France. He has a twin brother, Patrick, and is married to the former Laurence Boulanger. The couple has two children, and the family enjoys racquet sports, skill games, skiing, and flying kites. Clervoy graduated from high school in Saint-Cyr Lycee and then earned his Bachelor’s degree from the military college in 1976. He excelled in Mathematics, and continued his education and graduated from Prytanée Militaire, La Flèche in 1978, Ecole Polytechnique, Paris in 1981, and Ecole Nationale Supérieure de l’ Aéronautique et de l’ Espace, Toulouse in 1983. For the next four years, Clervoy was a lecturer in signal processing and general mechanics at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de l’ Aéronautique et de l’ Espace in Toulouse. He was selected by the French Space Agency in 1985 and started intense Russian language training thereafter. From 1987 to 1992, he directed the Parabolic Flight Program at the Flight Test Center and provided technical support to the European Manned Space Programs within the European Space Agency Hermes crew office. In 1987, Clervoy graduated from Ecole du Personnel Navigant d’ Essais et de Réception, Istres as a Flight Test Engineer.

In 1991, he trained on the Soyuz and Mit systems in Moscow and the following year joined the astronaut corps of the European Space Agency at the European Astronaut Center in Cologne. In August of 1992, Clervoy was stationed to the NASA Johnson Space Center to acquire more qualifications as a Space Shuttle mission specialist. In between space flights, he was designated the flight software verification lead in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory, as well as robotics display design lead for Shuttle and Station. Following his third space flight, he worked on security duties in the NASA-JSC Astronaut Office on “International Space Station display integration lead” within the Space Station Operations Branch.

Clervoy’s first flight to space was on STS-66 aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis. The crew launched on November 3, 1994 as a part of the Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science-3 mission. The overall goal was to detect and record the Earth’s energy balance and atmospheric change over an eleven-year solar cycle. Clervoy deployed the CRISTA-SPAS atmospheric research satellite by using the robotic arm. After 175 orbits of the Earth, the mission concluded with a landing on Earth on November 14. His next journey to space was on STS-84, which was also aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis. It launched on May 15, 1997 as NASA’s sixth Shuttle mission to rendezvous and dock with the Russian Space Station Mir. Clervoy’s main tasks as the Payload Commander were to coordinate more than 20 experiments being carried out, as well as overseeing the operation of the docking system and the double module SPACEHAB. He was also trained as a backup spacewalker on this mission. STS-84 was accomplished in 144 orbits of the Earth and landed back on Earth on May 24, 1997. Clervoy’s third and last mission to space was STS-103 aboard Space Shuttle Discovery, which launched on December 19, 1999. The mission’s crew successfully installed new devices and upgraded systems on the Hubble Space Telescope. Clervoy was the flight engineer for the duration of the rendezvous and used the robot arm to obtain and set out the telescope, and then maneuver the suited astronauts during the spacewalks they completed to repair and upgrade the telescope. On December 27, 1999, after 120 orbits of the Earth, the crew landed safely.

Clervoy is a member of the European Astronaut Corps and is based in Cologne, Germany. He is currently assigned to the Automated Transfer Vehicle ESA project as Senior Advisor Astronaut. He is also president of Novespace, which is a European company that provides zero gravity flights with an Airbus A300.