It takes a team to fly to space and ESA astronauts are well supported at every stage of a mission by their colleagues back on Earth.
ESA’s combined team of specialist communicators (Eurocoms) and biomedical engineers (BMEs) are responsible for all European voice communications with astronauts on board the International Space Station. From the control centre at the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) they work closely with operations teams at ESA’s Columbus Control Centre (Col-CC) in Oberpfaffenhofen, near Munich, Germany.
Eurocoms/BMEs also plan and implement the medical activities of ESA astronauts onboard the International Space Station, monitor crew health and review ESA’s planned Space Station activities from the perspective of the crew.
The Crew Operations Support team (ECOS) is a multidisciplinary team of EAC operational experts.
ECOS supports the preparation, integration and execution of different research activities, technology demonstrations and system activities onboard the International Space Station, as well as in simulations of space conditions on the ground in the area of medical operations, crew support and training.
Crew Support team members working out of EAC ensure astronauts are able to focus on their missions by taking care of details such as the development of space food, launch and return preparations and communications between an astronaut and their families.
Science and Data
EAC is also responsible for coordinating the collection of baseline data. This involves ensuring researchers have access to any data or samples they might require from an astronaut on Earth before or after their mission to provide a reference point for in-space experiments.