Born 14 March 1963 in Madrid, Spain. In 1992 Pedro was selected to be an ESA astronaut. Pedro was a backup for the Russian and European EuroMir mission in 1994. In 1996 he was a backup Payload Specialist, for a Space Shuttle mission. On 29 October 1998, Pedro blasted off from KSC onboard Space Shuttle Discovery, STS-95 mission.
"The astronaut looks to the sky and extends his hand towards the stars that he hopes to reach some day. He, like Cervantes hero, Don Quixote, is anxious to explore the Universe to discover the mysteries of life. In the constellation, the biggest star is the one placed there by man: the International Space Station, which already shines above our heads and will be the oasis for the conquerors of space."
Miguel de Cervantes is without doubt the most international Spanish writer. Therefore, there could not be a better name for a mission to the International Space Station with so much Spanish involvement. The Cervantes Mission will contribute to further internationalizing Spanish science and technology. Moreover, the "symbolic objects" that will fly in the Cervantes Mission will include an edition of Don Quixote on CD. On its return, a seal with the signatures of the Mission crew members will certify that this CD and the other "symbols" were actually on the Space Station.
The Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology, through the Centre for Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI), sponsored the mission within the framework of an agreement between ESA and Rosaviakosmos.