Ten astronauts train in Europe for the ISS: Meet them in Cologne!

the European Astronaut Centre
The European Astronaut Centre
19 August 2002

ESA PR 56-2002. From 26 August to 6 September, ESA's European Astronaut Centre (EAC), in Cologne, Germany, is for the first time hosting an international group of astronauts for training, in preparation for their missions to the International Space Station.

There will be ten participants: four ESA astronauts (Pedro Duque, Leopold Eyharts, Paolo Nespoli and Thomas Reiter), four Japanese astronauts from NASDA (Takao Doi, Koichi Wakata, Satoshi Furukawa and Aikihido Hoshide) and two NASA astronauts (Nicole Passonno Stott and Stephanie D. Wilson).

The European research laboratory Columbus
The European research laboratory Columbus

The main objective of this training session is to prepare the astronauts for the tasks they will have to perform when the Japanese experiment module (JEM) and ESA's Columbus laboratory are docked with the core of the International Space Station over the years ahead. After completing their training and certification, the astronauts will be assigned to long-duration missions to the ISS.

The advanced training at the EAC will focus on the Columbus systems and the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV). It will consist of 24 classroom lectures on the Columbus and ATV systems and 4 on payloads, and 2 sessions in the Columbus Trainer. Instructors are being provided by Astrium for the Columbus systems and Alenia Spazio for the ATV, with ESA/EAC staff as mentors for the Columbus payloads. The astronauts are scheduled to visit Astrium in Bremen on 30 August to get acquainted with the flight unit of the Columbus laboratory module currently undergoing integration.

This group of astronauts started their advanced training in April 2001 at NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC), Houston, where they attended a first course on the US segment of the International Space Station. This was followed by training on the JEM system at NASDA's Tsukuba Space Center, Japan, in December 2001 - January 2002 and additional training at the JSC in May 2002.

Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV)
Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV)

At the beginning of next year the group will be returning to Tsukuba for training on Japanese payloads. Hands-on sessions on Columbus Payload Training Models are scheduled for the second half of 2003, again at ESA's European Astronaut Centre.

On Thursday 5 September, between 16:30 and 18:30 hrs, the astronauts and other ESA specialists will be available for interviews. Media representatives interested in meeting them are requested to complete the attached reply form and to fax it by Tuesday 3 September to Maren Stock at ESA/EAC.

For further information:

Maren Stock
ESA/European Astronaut Centre
Tel: +49 2203 6001-111
Fax: +49 2203 6001-112

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