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Science & Exploration

N° 2–2020: Call for media: ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano returns from commanding the Space Station

22 January 2020

ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano is returning to Earth after six months on the International Space Station. He will land with Alexander Skvortsov and Christina Koch in Kazakhstan on 6 February 2020 after 201 days in space. Luca will fly directly to ESA’s European Astronaut Centre (EAC) in Cologne for an expected arrival around 21:00 GMT (22:00 CET).

Media are invited to welcome Luca on his arrival at the military side of Cologne Bonn Airport where he will give a statement after the long and intense trip back from space. There are no opportunities for interviews on that day.

Please register your attendance at the airport at the link below.

Luca will give a news conference at EAC on 8 February at 11:30 GMT (12:30 CET). Media are invited for an optional tour of the centre.

Please register your attendance via the link below.

Luca was launched into space on 20 July 2019 in a Soyuz spacecraft with NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan and Russian cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov. His seven-month mission saw him take command of the International Space Station and conduct complex spacewalks to repair the cosmic-particle-hunting Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer instrument, AMS-02.

Luca supported more than 50 European experiments and 200 international experiments in space. Other highlights were Luca making the first ‘live DJ session’ in Earth orbit, addressing world leaders at the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP 25 and talking to Nobel Laureates about exoplanets and the chemistry of batteries.

Astronaut availability is limited on return from missions, because they have a busy schedule of science experiments and rehabilitation after more than six months working in weightlessness. Teams at EAC monitor the astronauts’ health and advise on diet and exercise to ensure astronauts stay fit, but events may move or can be cancelled at short notice.

Luca Parmitano’s arrival at Cologne Bonn Airport


Event programme (all times in CET)

21:00 Cologne Bonn Airport arrival and registration

22:00 Expected landing and arrival of Luca Parmitano

23:00/23:30 End of the event


Flugbereitschaft BMVg

Flughafenstraße 1, 51147 Cologne - Germany

News conference at ESA’s European Astronaut Centre (EAC)


Event programme, 8 February 2020 (all times in CET)

From 11:00 EAC arrival and registration

12:30 Start of the press conference

13:30 End of the press conference

Opportunities for individual interviews opportunities as mentioned below.


ESA European Astronaut Centre

Linder Hoehe

D-51147 Cologne - Germany



ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano (individual interviews not possible)

Jan Wörner, ESA Director General (interviews available on request)

David Parker, ESA Director for Human and Robotic Exploration (interviews available on request)

Frank De Winne, Head of the European Astronaut Centre, Lead ISS Operations and Astronaut Group (interviews available on request)

Samantha Cristoforetti, ESA astronaut (interviews available on request)

Livestream: This event will be shown live on ESA Web TV:

Media Registration


Media representatives with press or social media credentials please register before 2 February at:

Please register separately for the arrival/welcome of Luca Parmitano at Cologne Bonn Airport on 6 February and the EAC news conference on 8 February.

Social media participants should check here that they meet the eligibility criteria before applying.  Note that there is no dedicated social media event; those attending with social media accreditation will have the same access to the event as traditional/online news media.

Please ensure you bring your passport or valid ID card (no driving licenses) to gain access to the German Aerospace Centre, DLR, campus, on which EAC is located. Latest date for registration is 2 February for both events.



More information about ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano and his Beyond mission: and in the mission brochure:

More information about ESA:


Luca Parmitano:

Beyond mission:

Beyond infographics:

Spacewalk infographics:

ESA’s Photo Library for Professionals: 

Terms and conditions for using ESA images:

For questions or more information related to ESA images, please contact directly



ESA Human Spaceflight videos:

Luca Parmitano videos:

ESA’s Video Library for Professionals:

Terms and conditions for using ESA videos:

For questions or more information related to ESA videos, please contact directly


Social media:

Mission hashtag – #MissionBeyond

Twitter: @esaspaceflight, @esa, @astro_luca

Facebook: @EuropeanSpaceAgency, @AstronautLucaParmitano

Instagram: @EuropeanSpaceAgency


About the European Space Agency


The European Space Agency (ESA) provides Europe’s gateway to space.

ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

ESA has 22 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, of which 20 are Member States of the EU. Slovenia is an Associate Member.

ESA has established formal cooperation with seven other Member States of the EU. Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement.

By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country. It is working in particular with the EU on implementing the Galileo and Copernicus programmes.

ESA develops the launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global space activities. Today, it develops and launches satellites for Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System and cooperates in the human exploration of space.

Learn more about ESA at

For further information:

ESA Newsroom and Media Relations


Tel: +49 2203 60 01121

Tel: +49 (0) 171 96 36 57 9