Frank De Winne: second Belgian astronaut

Frank De Winne
Belgian astronaut of the
European space Agency (ESA)
Frank De Winne (ON1DWN)

Personal data
Born in Ghent, Belgium, 25 April 1961, Frank is married and has three children. He enjoys football, small PC applications and astronomy.


Frank De Winne graduated from the Royal School of Cadets, Lier, in 1979. He received a Masters degree in telecommunications and civil engineering from the Royal Military Academy, Brussels, in 1984. He was awarded the AIA Prize for the best thesis. In 1991, he completed the Staff Course at the Defence College, in Brussels gaining the highest distinction. In 1992, he graduated from the Empire Test Pilots School (ETPS) in Boscombe Down, England, where he was awarded the McKenna Trophy.


Chairman of the Belgian Armed Forces Flying Personnel Association.

Special honours

First non-American pilot to receive the Joe Bill Dryden Semper Viper Award, in 1997, for demonstrating exceptional skills during a flight. Appointed "Officier in de Orde van Oranje Nassau" by the Dutch Queen for shown leadership during operation Allied Force (July 1999).


After completing his pilot training with the Belgian Air Force, in 1986, Frank De Winne was an operational pilot on Mirage V aircraft. Detached to the Company SAGEM in Paris in 1989, he then worked in the Mirage Safety Improvement Programme where he was responsible for the preparation of the operational and technical specifications of the Mirage upgrade programme.

In December 1992, he was appointed to the Test and Evaluation branch of the Belgian Air Force. As a test pilot, he was involved in various activities, such as CARAPACE (an electronic warfare programme on F16) at Eglin Air Force Base, USA, and a Self-Protection Programme for the C130 aircraft. During that period, he also flew in Gosselies as a reception pilot in different aircraft types.

From January 1994 to April 1995, Frank De Winne was responsible for the flight safety programme of the 1st Fighter Wing at Beauvechain, Belgium.

From April 1995 to July 1996, as a senior test pilot in the European Participating Air Forces (EPAF), he was detached to Edwards Air Force Base, California, where he worked on the mid-life update of the F16 aircraft, focussing on radar testing.

From 1996 to August 1998, he was senior test pilot in the Belgian Air Force, responsible for all test programmes and for all pilot-vehicle interfaces for future aircraft/software updates.

From August 1998 to January 2000, Frank De Winne was the Squadron Commander of the 349th Fighter Squadron at Kleine Brogel Airbase, Belgium.

During operation Allied Force, Frank De Winne was the detachment commander of the Deployable Air Task Force, a combined Belgian/Dutch detachment that flew about 2000 sorties during this Nato campaign. He has logged 17 combat sorties.

Frank De Winne has logged more than 2300 hours flying time on several types of high-performance aircraft including Mirage, F16, Jaguar and Tornado.

In January 2000, Frank De Winne joined the European Astronaut Corps of the European Space Agency (ESA), whose homebase is the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany.

De Winne provided technical support for the X38/CRV project division within the Directorate of Manned Spaceflight and Microgravity, located at ESTEC, Noordwijk/Netherlands.


In August 2001, De Winne took up training at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre (GCTC), Star City, near Moscow. Training includes elements of Basic Training for the International Space Station as well as training as Soyuz board engineer.

He prepared for a flight to the ISS on the Taxi flight No. 4 on 28 October 2002. He served as a flight engineer on Soyuz TMA during ascend, and on Soyuz TM during reentry. This was the first flight of the newly designed Soyuz TMA Spacecraft.
During his 8-day stay onboard ISS he conducted an international science programme both in the Russian and American segment.

He stayed 188 days on board of ISS on May 2009! He became the first European Space Agency astronaut to oversee the
International Space Station (commander). This is his second stay on board ISS.

His Ham radioamateur license:
He passed the Belgian radioamateur exams and got the callsign ON1DWN



OasISS mission 2009
Astronat and Radio Amateur Frank De Winne, ON1DWN, is set
to become the first European Space Agency astronaut to oversee the
International Space Station. This is his second stay on board ISS (Oct. 2002).

He left on May 27 12:34 Local Belgian time from Kazakhstan, where a Soyuz rocket
launched him, Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko and Canadian Space Agency
astronaut Robert Thirsk, VA3CSA, to the ISS ().
De Winne, who is from Belgium, will be a Flight Engineer as a member
of the Expedition 20 Crew. With the next crew rotation ON1DWN will
take over as Commander of Expedition 21 and will serve in that position
until his return to Earth in November. This will mark the first time
that someone other than a Russian or an American has held that post.
Mr De Winne is scheduled to spend six months in orbit!
More here:
or here: http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/OasISS_Mission/ESA0EUZUMOC_0.html

The docking of Soyuz TMA-15 capsule was on May 29 at 14:36 Belgian time (12:36UTC).

With the landing of the Soyuz capsule in the Kazakh steppe on Tuesday, December 1
came to an end the second space voyage of Frank De Winne, ON1DWN. During h
is 188 days continuous stay in space made Frank no less than 33 ARISS radio
contacts, of which 19 Belgian schools and educational institutions. There were
still 5 ARISS radiocontacts with Italy, 2 in Portugal and one each in the
Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Switzerland, Mali, Senegal and Australia.
Job well done!.

Radio 1 interview met Gaston Bertels over ARISS



What is Odissea?

Belgian ESA astronaut to carry out an important science and technology programme on board the International Space Station
European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Frank De Winne, of Belgian nationality, is to fly to the International Space Station (ISS) on 30th October 2002 on board a Russian Soyuz taxi flight. He has become the first Belgian to visit the ISS. During the mission, which has been named Odissea, De Winne will perform a series of science and technology related experiments on board the ISS. The Belgian Federal Office for Scientific, Technical and Cultural Affairs (OSTC) are providing the funding for De Winne’s flight and the related experimental programme.

A crew including Mission Commander Sergei Zalyotin, and Flight Engineers Frank De Winne and Yuri Lonchakov, lifted off on a Russian Soyuz rocket from Baikonur in Kazakhstan for a 10-day mission. The launch took place on 30 October 2002 at 03:11h UTC.

Alongside his Commander, De Winne, as Flight Engineer, played his part in testing the new Soyuz TMA-1 spacecraft which carried the crew to the Space Station. Two days after launch the spacecraft it docked automatically with the Space Station.
The prime task of the mission was to replace the TM-34 Soyuz vehicle currently attached to the Station with this modernised version. It is essential for the resident crew that the Soyuz 'lifeboat' remains in top condition in case of an emergency evacuation and so regular 'taxi' flights, such as Odissea, are used to swap an older Soyuz spacecraft with a newer craft every six months. This was the fourth such exchange of a Soyuz spacecraft since the assembly of the Space Station started in November 1998.


Frank De Winne photo gallery
click to enlarge the picture

Source: Images ESA

What is the contribution of Belgium to the ISS programme?
Belgium makes a considerable contribution via ESA, especially in the field of the development of new technologies. For instance there is the development of the Crew Return Vehicle (CRV). Belgium makes a large contribution to the X-38 programme for the CRV. And there is science. Although Belgium is a small country it is paying 10% of the scientific equipment for the European Columbus laboratory, which will be docked to the ISS in 2004. So Belgium’s efforts are considerable.

Movies of Frank De Winne:
at ESA

Credits: European space Agency (ESA)


The Belgian QSO's with Frank De Winne from the ISS (NA1SS)
Sunday 3 November 2002, 09:16 UTC
Frank De Winne Crew Pick, Royal Technical School Belgian Air Force,
Sint Truiden (
ON4RST), Belgium
QSL Direct via
[[[MPEG two-way AUDIO]]]
My recording at my QTH mp3]]]

Frank De Winne Crew Pick, Euro Space Center, Transinne, Belgium,
2002-11-05 09:00 UTC
QSL Direct via
[[[My recording of this contact]]]

My QSL-card from Frank De Winne
Click to enlarge



OasISS news BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8037431.stm
OasISS mission http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/OasISS_Mission/index.html
Frank de Winne
here: http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/OasISS_Mission/ESA0EUZUMOC_0.html

ESA Odissea pages: http://www.esa.int/odissea
Frank De Winne (Dutch)
dutch ienglish
ESA Movies Frank De Winne: ESA
ARISS info about Frank De Winne and QSO with ON4BAF at ON4RST (dutch pdf)
About Frank De Winne
Mil.be English or Mil.be Dutch
Odissea official Belgian website: www.odissea.be

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