Astronaut Pedro Duque appointed to Spain's new Cabinet

Astronaut Pedro Duque speaks about his experiences in space at the National Library of Spain in Madrid on Monday.

(CNN)Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has picked an astronaut to serve in his Cabinet, as well as appointing several women to key roles.

Pedro Duque -- who's been an astronaut since 1992 and was the first Spaniard to go into space -- will serve as the science, innovation and universities minister in Spain's new government.
Duque's first space mission was in 1998, aboard the US Space Shuttle Discovery. Five years later, he traveled on a Russian Soyuz spaceship to the International Space Station, where he stayed for 10 days.
    Pedro Duque of Spain, representing the European Space Agency, is pictured in 1998.
    The 55-year-old commented on his appointment on Twitter, saying he wished his mother were still alive to see it. Beneath, he posted a drawing from 1982 by late humorist Forges, in which a mother reminds a son as he leaves for work that "important jobs are the devil's playground."
    News of Duque's new role prompted a swift response on social media.