ESA astronaut Alex Gerst training at EAC

What we do

A team of 40 instructors implements ESA’s International Space Station crew training. Over 400 hours is needed to prepare an astronaut to operate, monitor and maintain the European modules, vehicles and experiment facilities on the International Space Station.

Besides training astronauts, EAC’s Training Division is also in charge of the training and certification of the ground control teams who monitor, control and command the Columbus laboratory from the ground and support the astronauts in space. This is done from the Columbus Control Centre (Col-CC) near Munich, Germany.

‘Eurocom’ specialists represent astronauts in space on Earth. They ensure communications between crews in orbit and ground control and are essential to the success of any space mission. All Eurocoms are trained at the European Astronaut Centre.

Medical Operations Console Room

The Astronaut Division is in charge of managing astronauts’ activities. This includes selection, career management, maintenance of proficiency and physical fitness, flight assignment and support, as well as ensuring crew safety.

Astronaut support deals with the special constraints on the normal (family) life of an astronaut during their long absences from home. The astronaut support group looks after all the non-training needs of the astronauts and their immediate families during pre-flight, mission and post-flight phases.

The Space Medicine Office develops programmes for preventive health, human behaviour and performance, as well as conducting medical training and support for astronauts.

The Space Medicine Office is composed of more than 20 experts. Their task is to make astronauts physically fit for spaceflight and maintain their health during a space mission lasting up to six months. To meet this objective they develop programmes for preventive health, human behaviour and performance, as well as conducting medical training and support for astronauts.

Last update: 19 December 2013

Copyright 2000 - 2014 © European Space Agency. All rights reserved.