The decision in 1998 to form one single European Astronaut Corps was a milestone for Human Spaceflight within ESA and for Europe. It was clear to all of us that a new era of human spaceflight in Europe had just begun and we were a part of it. We realised that it was our task to shape this new era in a truly European spirit and share it with the people of Europe.
This is no minor undertaking. We come from different countries and bring a variety of backgrounds into the European Astronaut Corps, educated as engineers, scientists, medical doctors, or test pilots. We acknowledged that our diversity was a strength in the pursuit of our common goal: peaceful human space exploration for the benefit of humankind at large and for the European people in particular.
Although we cherish our origin and our diverse cultural and national backgrounds, we like to see ourselves as true Europeans, who share common European values. And we know that we will be successful only if we work together as a team, a group of people inspired by the same dream about peaceful human exploration of space.
We want to share this dream and our experiences with the people of Europe.
This is why we decided to write a Charter of the European Astronaut Corps: to express and share our vision, our mission and our values with you!
The European Astronaut Corps
The text of the Charter is as follows:
Charter of the European Astronaut Corps
Shaping and Sharing Human Space Exploration
We Shape Space by bringing our European values to the preparation, support, and operation of the space flights that advance peaceful human exploration.
We Share Space with the people of Europe by communicating our vision, goals, experiences, and the results of our missions.
Sapientia: We believe that Human Space Exploration is a wise choice by and for humankind. Sapientia reflects our commitment to pursue our goals for the advancement of humanity.
Populus: We put people first, in two ways: First, the purpose of our mission is to contribute to a better future for people on Earth. Second: Populus serves as a reflection of our repect for the people with whom we work: that we value their opinions, praise their work and compliment them for their support.
Audacia: We acknowledge that Spaceflight is a dangerous endeavour. While accepting the risks inherently involved in space travel we work to minimise these risks whenever we can. Audacia reminds us that the rewards will be unparalleled if we succeed.
Cultura: We continue the exploration started by our ancestors. Conscious of our history and traditions, we expand exploration into space, passing on our cultural heritage to future generations.
Exploratio: We value exploration as an opportunity to discover, to learn and, ultimately, to grow. We are convinced that humankind must embrace the challenge of peaceful human space exploration. We, the European Astronauts, are willing to take the next step.
Cologne, this fifteenth day of August twothousandone anno domini