Mission participation and support

The European Astronaut Centre, Cologne (Germany)
The European Astronaut Centre, Cologne (Germany)

With its foundation in 1990, EAC formed the home base for three astronauts. They had originally been selected for the first Spacelab mission, in which the German astronaut Ulf Merbold participated in 1983. The Dutch astronaut Wubbo Ockels flew with Spacelab D1 in 1985 and Claude Nicollier - of Swiss nationality - was at the time in training at NASA.

Since then, the list of missions flown by European astronauts, most of them supported by the EAC, has lengthened substantially.

The participation of EAC staff in these missions has resulted in the accumulation of substantial human, technical, operational and scientific expertise in manned space flight activities. The EAC provides not only substantial parts of the training and operational support during missions, but also medical support to the astronauts and their families at their duty stations in the USA, Russia and Japan.

Today over 50 space missions have been performed by just as many astronauts from ESA and its member states, providing EAC with much accumulated experience on human space activities.

Last update: 15 November 2012

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