Claude Nicollier Video Archive

Picture from NASA mission STS-46 with Claude Nicollier and the EPFL flag. © NASA, 1992



Funded by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI), this project initiated in 2019 aims to digitize the audiovisual collection of Swiss astronaut Claude Nicollier. For EPFL and Claude Nicollier, the collection is destined to become a platform for education and promotion of research and innovation projects, in the space field in particular but also more broadly, for example in museology or artificial intelligence.


The digitized collection comes from two separate lots.

Entrusted to the Swiss Space Center, the first batch was provided by Jean-Luc Nicollier, cousin of Claude Nicollier, former journalist and producer at Radio Télévision Suisse (RTS). This lot includes many documents related to the making of the documentary “Destins” produced by Jean-Luc Nicollier as part of his professional activity at RTS. The documentary, broadcast for the first time on January 2, 1998 on RTS, traces the highlights of the personal life and career of Claude Nicollier, within the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration). The digitized content brings together numerous interviews carried out as part of the production of the documentary, including the often unpublished rushes. The lot also includes documents of an administrative nature such as activity reports. There are handwritten notes and various publications, press clippings and photographs collected for the production of the documentary “Destins”.

The second lot comes from the collection of Claude Nicollier himself, gathered in Lausanne from storage places in Switzerland and Houston. This batch includes more than 380 records accumulated throughout the professional activity of Claude Nicollier, as an ESA / NASA astronaut or as a military pilot of the Swiss army. The content, generally produced between 1990 and 2000 by ESA or NASA, relates to the fields of aeronautics and aerospace. The subjects can include shots, recordings of exercise sessions or conferences associated with the STS-46, STS-61, STS-75 and STS-103 missions in which Claude Nicollier participated within NASA. There are also programs broadcast on Swiss or international television channels.

Audiovisual Supports

Audiovisual media mainly consist of video cassettes such as Betacam SP, Digital Betacam, VHS, or U-MATIC type, with a few reels of 16 mm films, photo negatives, CDs or audio cassettes. Professional media such as Betacam SP and Digital Betacam were digitized internally in our center, while VHS tapes were digitized by the company Cinetis in Sion. The VHS batch, a more sensitive and lower quality format, benefited from the great experience of Cinetis partners in the Netherlands, specialists able to select for each cassette the most appropriate player from among several machines. The quality control, indexing, archiving, storage operations, as well as the recording enhancement platform were carried out by the CHC team.