Jean-Loup Chrétien, the first Frenchman in space




Article written by

J.-C. Battery, N. Berthier, J.-B. Robert – France 3

France Televisions

40 years ago, to the day, Jean-Loup Chrétien became the first Frenchman to go into space.

June 24, 1982 was the first time that journalists were allowed to enter the secret base of Baikonur (Kazakhstan). Jean-Loup Chrétien is placed closer to the cameras. He is the first non-Russian or non-American to fly into space. On board the capsule Soyuzhis heart is accelerating, but he didn’t show anything.Fear is when you don’t control the situation, when you don’t have confidence. The Russians with whom we were, for two years, did everything – it’s a bit their mission, their way of doing things – to give us confidence“, he testifies.

However, Jean-Loup Chrétien almost never left. At 42, the army considered him too old. He entered the competition as a free candidate and yet came out first in the competition among 200 candidates! This first flight makes the A newspapers for a week. Jean-Loup Chretien mastery both the flight missions and the communication of the time.

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