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Internship opportunities at ESA's Astronaut Centre

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ESA / About Us / EAC

The European Astronaut Centre (EAC) is seeking interns to support activities in a range of fields related to human spaceflight.

We are looking for dynamic people who can work independently to help us meet the challenges of human and robotic space exploration. You will be encouraged to show initiative, take on new challenges and learn new skills. In return, you will have access to EAC facilities and work in a stimulating, multi-national environment that is unique within Europe and close to the historic and vibrant city of Cologne along the famous River Rhine.

Internships are available in a number of areas. For detailed information, please click the relevant links. Interested students are asked to familiarise themselves with the general terms and conditions of ESA internships here

Spaceship EAC

The Spaceship EAC initiative is investigating low Technology Readiness Level (TRL) technologies can support future cislunar space missions as well as surface activities on the Moon as part of the Exploration, Preparation, Research and Technology (ExPeRT) team. The multidisciplinary, innovation-driven team comprises researchers, graduate and undergraduate students.

Space medicine team

Internships are offered with the REDI (Research, Education & Development Initiative) that supports medical domain readiness both for current and future human space missions. REDI supports the space medicine team, whose approximately 25 experts from a variety of health-related fields are responsible for ensuring the health and wellbeing (physical and psychological) of ESA astronauts before, during and following spaceflight.

The space medicine team consists of physicians (flight surgeons), biomedical engineers, countermeasure exercise specialists and medical project engineers in addition to biomedical and space medicine education experts.

Space training team – media production

Multimedia internships at EAC offer exciting and fulfilling opportunities to produce video (filming and editing with Premiere) and media (2D and 3D: Adobe CC) to support astronaut training, E-Learning and more.

Space training team – CAVES and PANGAEA

PANGAEA (Planetary ANalogue Geological and Astrobiological Exercise for Astronauts) is a geological and astrobiological field training course that develops fundamental knowledge and skills in these disciplines, as well as observation and decision-making skills needed to identify important geological features in the field, conduct efficient sampling and effectively communicate with scientists on Earth.
is also used as a research and development platform to enable advances in technological, scientific and operational areas. Click the links below to learn more about each internship opportunity.

CAVES teaches astronauts to explore the underground system, presenting astronauts with environments and situations very similar to spaceflight, to help them transfer the learning from their caving expedition to space.

The training involves testing technological tools for sampling and scientific analysis in the field and development of operational concepts for geological field activities.

  • Electronic Fieldbook (EFB) system development: The EFB is a tool supporting astronaut mission operations with technology for geolocation, cave mapping, scientific data gathering, sensors interaction and wireless data relay to mission control centres. Interns are sought to support the development of this exploration tool in order to improve, extend and test its functionalities.
  • Machine learning for recognition of planetary materials from multispectral datasets:Interns are sought to continue development of machine learning algorithms for recognition of planetary materials from multispectral datasets. This project focuses on combining several mineral characteristics to achieve automatic classification.
  • Planetary Mineral Database development and validation of spectra classification methods: Interns are sought to continue to enhance and develop our mineralogical database by gathering spectra from mineral collections and museums. They will also help in the testing of a machine learning software to evaluate the most suitable spectral identification method of planetary materials.

Ground segment and IT

The ground segment and IT team holds full responsibility of all systems that support EAC’s International Space Station control rooms as well as many other business critical IT systems. As an intern on the team, you will work to support the team and EAC by developing bespoke and valuable software tool.

With many years of experience in multiple fields of engineering and IT, the team is well prepared to mentor interns through challenging projects that will have a real impact on services at EAC.

EAC communications team

Internship opportunities with the team promoting Human and Robotic Exploration of space will be published again in 2020.

School internships

A limited number of internship placements are available for school pupils every year.

EAC school internships last between one and three weeks and can take place either during the schools’ official internship periods or on a voluntary basis during school holidays.

During their internships, pupils will be introduced to the main areas of responsibility of EAC teams and work on an individual project under the supervision of an EAC staff member. Most activities and project work will be conducted in English.

School interns must be citizens of an ESA member or cooperating state.

Non-local students are responsible for arranging their own accommodation in Cologne. EAC cannot provide adult supervision outside of working hours.

Applications from school pupils interested in doing an internship at EAC in 2021 must be submitted before 17.00, 30 June 2020. All applications received before this deadline will be reviewed, and internships will be allocated on the basis of availability and applicant information.

Applicants can expect to receive a response at the end of October 2020. However, we will aim to respond earlier to pupils applying for an internship for the first two months of 2021.

To apply: please email us with a short motivation letter and your CV – both in English – to indicating your desired internship dates for 2021. Please also include a copy of your latest school report.