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Pedro Duque

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Pedro Duque
Duque in January 2000
Minister of Science, Innovation and Universities
In office
7 June 2018 – 12 July 2021
Prime MinisterPedro Sánchez
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byDiana Morant
Member of the Congress of Deputies
In office
21 May 2019 – 21 February 2020
Personal details
Born (1963-03-14) 14 March 1963 (age 61)
Madrid, Spain
Political partyIndependent
OccupationFlight engineer
AwardsGrand Cross of Aeronautical Merit
Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation
Member of the Order of Friendship (Russian Federation)
Medal "For Merit in Space Exploration"
Space career
ESA astronaut
Time in space
18d 18h 46min
Selection1992 ESA Group
MissionsSTS-95, Soyuz TMA-3/2
Mission insignia

Pedro Francisco Duque Duque, OF, OMSE (Madrid, 14 March 1963) is a Spanish astronaut and aeronautics engineer who served as minister of Science from 2018 to 2021 and member of the Congress of Deputies, representing Alicante, from May 2019 until February 2020.

Since December 2023, he is the chair of Hispasat.


Early life and education[edit]

He was born in Madrid in 1963. His father was an air traffic controller and his mother a school teacher, both were from Badajoz. In 1986, Duque earned a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. In 1986, he worked for GMV and for the European Space Agency (ESA) for six years before being selected as a candidate to become an astronaut in 1992.


Duque underwent training in both Russia and the United States. His first spaceflight was as a mission specialist aboard Space Shuttle mission STS-95, during which Duque supervised ESA experimental modules. In October 2003, Duque visited the International Space Station on board a Soyuz TMA Ship for several days during a crew changeover. The name designated by ESA/Spain for the scientific program of this visit was Misión Cervantes.

Duque (standing, second from the right) with the crew of the STS-95 in 1998
Duque working on a glovebox while aboard the International Space Station during Expedition 8

University and business[edit]

In 2003, he started working at UPM School of Aeronautical Engineers as head of operations of the Spanish USOC, also lecturing students on space science and operations.[1]

In 2006, Duque was named Managing Director (CEO) of Deimos Imaging, a private company, that in 2009 put in orbit the first Spanish earth observation satellite (Deimos 1) for application in agriculture, forestry wildfire detection and control. In 2011, he was named Executive President of the Company.

Return to the ESA[edit]

In October 2011, Duque returned to his position at the European Space Agency, reprising his role as an astronaut. Until 2015, he was the leader of the Flight Operations Office, with responsibility for ESA operations in the ISS. In 2016, Duque participated in ESA CAVES[2] training. After that he assumed responsibility for the review of future ESA crewed flights, within the ESA's astronaut corps.


Duque photographed in 2018 in La Moncloa with his minister portfolio.

After the success of the June 2018 vote of no confidence in the government of Mariano Rajoy, Pedro Sánchez, leader of the new government, named Pedro Duque Minister of Science, Innovation and Universities.[3]

In April 2019, Duque announced that his ministry was going to increase Spain's contribution to the European Space Agency by 701 million between 2020 and 2026 to ensure an appropriate contribution commensurate with the size of the Spanish economy.[4]

Along side the rest of the Sánchez cabinet, Duque ran for the April 2019 and November 2019 general elections, being elected MP for Alicante.[5] In January 2020, Sánchez confirmed Duque as minister of Science and Innovation, with responsibility for university affairs being granted to Manuel Castells, as the first minister of Universities.[6] He resigned as an MP on 21 February 2020, shortly after being confirmed as minister of Science.[7]

In May 2022, he was appointed to the strategic committee of Destinus as an advisor. The company founded by serial entrepreneur Mikhail Kokorich is developing a hypersonic liquid hydrogen aircraft.[8]

In December 2023, he was appointed as chair of Hispasat.[9]

Honors and decorations[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "El Astronauta e Ingeniero Aeronáutico Pedro Duque "ficha" por su Escuela". Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Aeronaúticos (in Spanish). Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. 21 October 2004. Archived from the original on 8 December 2004. Retrieved 28 April 2005.
  2. ^ Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Payler, Samuel J.; Vattano, Marco; Sauro, Francesco Maria; Turchi, Leonardo; Bessone, Loredana (1 July 2021). "Speleology as an analogue to space exploration: The ESA CAVES training programme". Acta Astronautica. 184: 150–166. Bibcode:2021AcAau.184..150S. doi:10.1016/j.actaastro.2021.04.003. hdl:11585/819077. ISSN 0094-5765. S2CID 234819922.
  3. ^ "Astronaut Pedro Duque appointed to Spain's new Cabinet". 6 June 2018.
  4. ^ Domínguez, Nuño (26 April 2019). "España aumenta 700 millones su contribución a la exploración del espacio". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  5. ^ "Carcedo y Duque recogen su acta de diputados en el Congreso". Consalud (in Spanish). Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  6. ^ "Pedro Duque mantiene la cartera de Ciencia y pierde Universidades". ELMUNDO (in Spanish). 10 January 2020. Retrieved 4 March 2021.
  7. ^ València/Alicante, A. G. / Pérez Gil (13 February 2020). "Pedro Duque deja el escaño en el Congreso y Ábalos lo retiene". Levante-EMV (in Spanish). Retrieved 4 March 2021.
  8. ^ Lofqvist, Martina (29 May 2022). "Spain's Astronaut Pedro Duque joins the Board - Destinus". Destinus - A New Class of Fast. Retrieved 26 May 2023.
  9. ^ "Hispasat aprueba el nombramiento de Pedro Duque como presidente y renueva dos consejeros". Europa Press. 19 December 2023. Retrieved 24 December 2023.

External links[edit]