The European Astronaut Centre of the European Space Agency is situated in Cologne, Germany. It was established in 1990 as a result of Europe's commitment to human space programmes and is the home base of the 16 European astronauts who are members of the European Astronaut Corps.
The role of the EAC is to prepare and implement astronaut training programmes for a variety of missions, including those for the International Space Station. It also coordinates astronaut training between ESA and its International Space Station Programme partners. EAC is responsible for the preparation, planning and scheduling of the European astronauts' tasks and flight assignments as well as coordinating astronaut activities with other countries.
The EAC provides support ranging from public relations assistance to medical monitoring. This support, which includes support to the families of astronauts both at home or abroad, is especially important during extended stays by astronauts on space flight missions and at ESA's partner training centres.
Finally, EAC supports ESA's astronaut candidate selections.