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Pedro Duque
Pedro Duque (cropped).jpg
Duque in January 2000
Minister of Science and Innovation
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 60)
Madrid, Spain
Political partyIndependent
OccupationFlight engineer
AwardsGrand Cross of Aeronautical Merit
Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation
Orden of Friendship.png
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
STS-95 Patch.svg
Soyuz TMA-3 Patch.png
Soyuz TMA-2 Patch.png

Pedro Francisco Duque Duque, OF, OMSE (Madrid, 14 March 1963) is a Spanish astronaut and aeronautics engineer who served as Minister of Science of the Government of Spain from 2018 to 2021. He was also Member of the Congress of Deputies from May 2019 until February 2020.


Early life and education

He was born in Madrid in 1963. His father was an air traffic controller and his mother a school teacher, both 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 an astronaut candidate 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 of a Soyuz TMA Ship for several days during a crew changeover. The scientific program of this visit was called by ESA/Spain Misión Cervantes.

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

University and Business

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) with uses in agriculture, forestry wildfire detection and control. In 2011, he was named Executive President of the Company.

Return to the ESA

In October 2011, Duque returned to his position in the European Space Agency, retaking his position 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 the responsibility of the review of future ESA crewed flights, within the ESA's astronaut corps.


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

After the success of the motion of no confidence against the government of Mariano Rajoy in June 2018, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez 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 a proper contribution regarding the Spanish economy size.[4]

As 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, but the university affairs were granted to Manuel Castells, as the first minister of Universities.[6] After being confirmed as minister of Science, he resigned as MP in 21 February 2020.[7]

Honors and decorations

See also


  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 (2021-07-01). "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. ISSN 0094-5765. S2CID 234819922.
  3. ^ "Astronaut Pedro Duque appointed to Spain's new Cabinet". 6 June 2018.
  4. ^ Domínguez, Nuño (2019-04-26). "España aumenta 700 millones su contribución a la exploración del espacio". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 2019-06-01.
  5. ^ "Carcedo y Duque recogen su acta de diputados en el Congreso". Consalud (in Spanish). Retrieved 2019-06-01.
  6. ^ "Pedro Duque mantiene la cartera de Ciencia y pierde Universidades". ELMUNDO (in Spanish). 2020-01-10. Retrieved 2021-03-04.
  7. ^ València/Alicante, A. G. / Pérez Gil | (2020-02-13). "Pedro Duque deja el escaño en el Congreso y Ábalos lo retiene". Levante-EMV (in Spanish). Retrieved 2021-03-04.