OasISS preflight crew press conference

Frank De Winne and Robert Thirsk during training at Tsukuba Space Center
27 February 2009

ESA astronaut Frank De Winne is scheduled to spend six months on the International Space Station starting from May. In October 2009, he is set to become the first European ISS Commander. His mission, called OasISS, will focus on scientific research, technology and education. Media representatives are invited to attend a preflight crew press conference on 4 March.

Hosted by ESA's Directorate of Human Spaceflight, the press conference will cover all aspects of the mission. There will also be an opportunity to put questions to De Winne and his fellow crewmembers who will take time out from their training programme at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston to join the event by video conference.

Important mission

Robotics training at JSC
De Winne is currently training with other crewmembers at NASA's Johnson Space Center

The OasISS mission is important in many ways. For the first time the International Space Station (ISS) will see an increase in the size of the permanent crew from three to six. Furthermore, De Winne will be the first European commander of the ISS. As Commander, he will be responsible, among other things, for conducting operations on the ISS, directing crew activities, ensuring the safety of the crew and the protection of the ISS elements, equipment and payloads.

During his stay on the ISS, De Winne will conduct scientific experiments developed by scientists from different European countries and others worldwide. In addition, he will perform technology demonstrations and an education programme. De Winne will also be instrumental in operating the Station's robotic arm and that of the Kibo module, to help install the external payloads for the Japanese laboratory.


Columbus closes in on Harmony
Columbus was installed on the International Space Station in February 2008

Frank De Winne previously spent 10 days onboard the ISS during his Odissea mission in 2002. Since then, much has changed at the orbital outpost. In March 2008, ESA successfully launched Jules Verne, the first Automated Transfer Vehicle, delivering supplies and hardware the Station. One month earlier, the European Columbus laboratory was added to the ISS, at which point Europe became a fully operational ISS partner, providing a permanent orbital infrastructure in which to perform its own scientific research programme.


ESA/ESTEC, Erasmus Centre
Wednesday 4 March 2009

(The programme will be presented in English)

13:00: Doors open

13:30: OasISS, human spaceflight and exploration in Europe Simonetta Di Pippo, Director of Human Spaceflight

13:45: OasISS – Mission overview Bernardo Patti, ISS Programme Manager

14:00: OasISS – Science overview Martin Zell, Head of ISS Utilisation Department

14:15: Advanced Reentry Vehicle – The next step in Human Exploration Marco Caporicci, Head of Transportation and Reentry Systems Division

14:30: Coffee break

15:00: Live connection with ESA astronaut Frank De Winne, Questions and Answers

16:00: OasISS – Media relations. Upcoming opportunities for media to cover the mission

16:15: 3D tour of the ISS

20:15: Crew News Conference – Live connection with astronauts Frank De Winne, Roman Romanenko, Robert Thirsk and Nicole Stott. Questions and Answers

Media representatives wishing to attend are kindly requested to complete the attached accreditation form and return it by fax or email to:

ESA/ESTEC Communication Office
Fax: +31 71 565 5728
Tel: +31 71 565 3006
Email: Rosita.Suenson@esa.int

Fax registration

OasISS preflight crew press conference
ESA/ESTEC, Erasmus Centre
Keplerlaan 1, Noordwijk
Date: Wednesday 4 March
Time: 13:00 – 17:00

First name: __________________ Surname: ____________________

Media organisation: _____________________________________

Address: _______________________________________________


Tel: __________________________ Fax: ____________________

Mobile: ______________________ Email: ___________________

I will be attending:

[ ] From 13:00 – 17:00
[ ] From 20:15 onwards (optional)

[ ] I will not be attending

Return by fax or email to:
ESA Communications Office (ESTEC)
Fax: +31 71 565 5728
Tel: +31 71 565 3006
Email: Rosita.Suenson@esa.int

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