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ESA astronaut Claude Nicollier, from Switzerland. Claude Nicollier, a Swiss astrophysicist as well as an Air Force and airline pilot, was selected in July 1978 as a member of the first group of ESA astronauts for the Spacelab program. Under an agreement between ESA and NASA he joined the NASA astronaut candidates selected in May 1980 for astronaut training as a mission specialist and has been detached to the NASA Astronauts Office in Houston since July 1980. In October 1998 Nicollier became the senior astronaut of ESA's European Astronaut Corps. A veteran of four space flights, Claude has logged more than 1000 hours in space. He flew as a mission specialist on STS-46 in 1992 for the deployment of ESA's European Retrievable Carrier (EURECA) science platform and Italy's Tethered Satellite System (TSS), on STS-61 in 1993 for the first Hubble Space Telescope (HST) servicing and repair mission, on STS-75 in 1996 for the TSS reflight and on STS-103 in December 1999 for the third HST servicing mission. Claude Nicollier became the senior astronaut of ESA's European Astronaut Corps in October 1998 and is currently assigned to the EVA Branch in the NASA Astronaut Office in Houston.