Originally from Ghent, Belgium, experienced test pilot Frank De Winne joined ESA’s Astronaut Corps in January 2000. He is the current head of ESA's European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany, and has been in charge of International Space Station operations at ESA since 2017.
Frank flew his first mission, known as Odissea, to the International Space Station from 30 October to 10 November 2002. The prime task of this 11-day mission was to replace the Russian Soyuz TM-34 vehicle attached to the Space Station with the new Soyuz TMA-1.In 2009, Frank returned to the International Space Station for long-duration mission Oasiss. During the second part of this mission, expedition 21, he became the first European in command of Earth's only orbital outpost and used the Station's robotic arm to dock Japan's first HTV cargo vehicle.