Biographies of International Astronauts




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Personal data

Birthdate:  02.09.1944
Birthplace:  Vevey
Marital status:  widowed
Children:  two
Selection date:  18.05.1978
Selection group:  ESA-1 / EAC
Position:  MSP / PSP
Status:  Ret. ??.03.2007


No. Mission Position Time Duration
1  STS-46  MSP  31.07. - 08.08.1992 7d 23h 15m 
2  STS-61  MSP  02.12. - 13.12.1993 10d 19h 58m 
3  STS-75  MSP  22.02. - 09.03.1996 15d 17h 40m 
4  STS-103  MSP  20.12. - 28.12.1999 7d 23h 10m 
Total  42d 12h 03m 

Additional information

Bachelor of science in physics from the University of Lausanne, 1970; master of science in astrophysics from the University of Geneva, 1975; research scientist at ESA's Space Science Department at Noordwijk, The Netherlands; Swiss Air Force pilot, airline pilot and test pilot; selected as an ESA candidate payload specialist for Spacelab-1; under an agreement between ESA and NASA he joined the NASA astronaut candidates selected in May 1980 for astronaut training as a mission specialist; in 1983 it was the intention and wish of West Germany and ESA that on the Spacelab-D1 mission Nicollier would fly as a mission specialist together with (German) payload specialists Furrer, and Messerschmid and (Dutch) ESA payload specialist Wubbo Ockels, but after severe internal discussions NASA refused this option; was already assigned for STS-61K (EOM-1/2), but this flight was cancelled after the Challenger disaster; from the spring of 1996 to the end of 1998, he was head of the NASA Astronaut Office Robotics Branch; until his retirement from ESA he was assigned to the EVA Branch in the NASA Astronaut Office in Houston; hobbies: Playing alphorn, snow skiing, mountain climbing, flying, photography; currently professor at the Ecole Polytechnique Federal de Lausanne.

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Last update on May 17, 2016.