Claude Nicollier is the first astronaut from Switzerland. He has flown on four Space Shuttle missions. His first spaceflight (STS-46) was in 1992, and his final spaceflight (STS-103) was in 1999. He took part in two servicing missions to the Hubble Space Telescope (called STS-61 and STS-103). During his final spaceflight he participated in a spacewalk, becoming the first European Space Agency astronaut to do so during a Space Shuttle mission. In 2000 he was assigned to the Astronaut Office Extravehicular Activity Branch, while maintaining a position as Lead ESA Astronaut in Houston. Nicollier retired from ESA in April 2007.
STS-61 was the first Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission, and the fifth flight of the Space Shuttle Endeavour. The mission launched on 2 December 1993 from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The mission restored the spaceborne observatory's vision, marred by spherical aberration, with the installation of a new main camera and a corrective optics package. This correction occurred more than three and a half years after the Hubble was launched aboard STS-31 in April 1990. The flight also brought instrument upgrades and new solar arrays to the telescope.Low Earth Orbit
The European Space Agency is an intergovernmental organisation of 22 member states. Established in 1975 and headquartered in Paris, France, ESA has a worldwide staff of about 2,000 employees. ESA's space flight programme includes human spaceflight (mainly through participation in the International Space Station program); the launch and operation of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon; Earth observation, science and telecommunication; designing launch vehicles; and maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana.