Dirk Frimout

Dirk Dries David Damien, Viscount Frimout ( born March 21, 1941 in Poperinge, West Flanders, Belgium) is the first Belgian astronaut.

Frimout received his diploma in electrical engineering in 1963 and is since 1970 a doctorate in physics. From 1965 to 1978 he worked at the Belgian Institute for altitude research, in which he performed, among other experiments with stratospheric balloons and sounding rockets.

Then he worked for the European Space Agency and coordinated the activities of the spaceman candidates and the Spacelab experiments. From 1989 he worked at the European Space Research and Technology Centre.

As early as 1977 he had applied to be an astronaut, but was not accepted. In a further run-up in 1985, he was successful. Was Frimout as a replacement for the shuttle flight STS -61- K under discussion. After the crash of the space shuttle Challenger flight that was canceled before the team was officially nominated.

After the resumption of shuttle flights Frimout supervised at NASA experiment ATLAS -1 (Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science ). When the lines intended for space flight payload specialist Michael Lampton had to be taken for medical reasons from the team that drew Frimout after.

Frimout launched on 24 March 1992 with the Space Shuttle Atlantis on his first space flight. Together with six Americans, he participated in the mission STS -45. He orbited the Earth while 143mal and returned on 2 April 1992 back to earth.

After his space flight Frimout was raised by the Belgian King Albert II to the peerage, his title is that of a viscount (French) or Burggraaf ( Dutch).

In 1993 he transferred from ESA to a research department at the telecommunications company Belgacom. In 1994 he founded the Foundation Euro Space Foundation for the Advancement of Science. Since 1998 he has worked at Flanders Language Valley Foundation, in Ypres and is engaged in the development of language computers.

Dirk Frimout is married and has two children.