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France's first woman in space hospitalized after suicide attempt
Claudie Haigneré
Dec 24, 2008 12:35 PM
By Jordan Lite for Scientific American
The first French woman in space has been hospitalized after she tried to take her own life, according to published reports.

Claudie Haignere, 51, was hospitalized late yesterday after she tried to commit suicide, an unidentified French government source told Agence France-Presse. Another source told AFP that Haignere overdosed on pills.

Haignere, a rheumatologist, flew to the MIR space station as an astronaut in 1996 and to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2001. She's studied how humans adapt their motor and cognitive skills in weightlessness and monitored astronauts from the ground. Later, on the MIR, she performed  experiments in physiology, developmental biology, fluid physics and technology, according to the European Space Agency.

On the ISS, she helped swap out an emergency Soyuz spacecraft that's always docked at the station in case of emergency for a new one. After returning, Haignere described the experience as "a challenging and intensely fulfilling experience."

Haignere was France's minister for research and new technologies from June 2002 to March 2004, and European Affairs minister until May 2005. Her husband, Jean-Pierre Haignere, is an astronaut who completed two missions to the MIR in 1993 and 1999. She has one daughter.

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Wowaa  10:03 PM 12/26/08

I read somewhere else that she was insistant on the government warning the world of some danger...did you miss some of the story Scientific American?

...A most peculiar FSB is circulating in the Kremlin today stating that the renowned scientist and Frances first female astronaut Claudie Haigner? [pictured top left] had to be forcefully restrained after screaming "Earth Must Be Warned!" prior to her falling into a coma from a reported overdose of sleeping pills in an apparent attempt at suicide

Claudie Haigneré
Photo © ESA/CNES-Star City ESA

Claudie Haigneré (formerly Claudie André-Deshays; born 13 May 1957 in Le Creusot, Saône-et-Loire) is a French doctor, politician, and former astronaut with the Centre National d'Études Spatiales (1985–1999) and the European Space Agency (1999–2002). [1]

Background and training

Born in Le Creusot, France, Haigneré studied medicine at the Faculté de Médecine (Paris-Cochin) and Faculté des Sciences (Paris-VII). She went on to obtain certificates in biology and sports medicine (1981), aviation and space medicine (1982), and rheumatology (1984). In 1986 she received a diploma in the biomechanics and physiology of movement. She completed her PhD thesis in neuroscience in 1992.[1]

Space career

Haigneré was a back-up crew member for the 1993 Mir Altaïr mission in which her future husband Jean-Pierre Haigneré participated. The asteroid 135268 Haigneré is named in their combined honour. Haigneré visited the Mir space station for 16 days in 1996, as part of the Russian-French Cassiopée mission. In 2001, Haigneré became the first European woman to visit the International Space Station, as part of the Andromède mission. She retired from ESA on June 18, 2002.[2][3]

Political career

Following her career as a astronaut, Haigneré entered French politics. She became minister for European Affairs in Jean-Pierre Raffarin's government and minister delegate for research and new technologies.


  1. ESA - Human Spaceflight and Exploration - spationauts - Claudie Haigneré (formerly André-Deshays)
  2. CNES Biography
  3. Spacefacts biography of Claudie Haigneré
  4. Haigneré's diary of the 2001 mission
Related Articles:
Claudie Haigneré - Rheumatologist
Missions: Soyuz TM-24/TM-23, Soyuz TM-33/TM-32
Related Articles: Mention of the scream “Earth Must Be Warned!” It would appear that the ONLY source that has her saying  “Earth Must Be Warned!” is from Sorsha Fall

For info on that source see here:

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