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Science & Exploration

N° 37–2014: Call for Media: Scientists and ESA astronauts present the science and technology results from the International Space Station

7 November 2014

ESA’s Director of Human Spaceflight and Operations and former astronaut, Thomas Reiter, invites experts and media to the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany on 19 November to join the astronauts and scientists that work on space science themselves for a day of presentations just as ESA Alexander Gerst returns to Earth while ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti is set to leave on her long-duration missions to the International Space Station.

ESA is using the science capabilities on the Space Station to their full extent. Currently, ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst is running an extensive science programme as part of his Blue Dot mission, which will end when he leaves the weightless research centre to return to Earth on 10 November. ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti will pick up the baton when she is launched two weeks later on her Futura mission.

Media representatives are invited to join the astronauts and scientists for a day devoted to the Space Station science and technology that is shaping our future.

The event includes Alexander’s personal report on his experiences and the science he conducted, just a week after finishing his six‑month Blue Dot mission.

Samantha, now preparing for her six months aboard the Station, will take over many of these experiments from Alexander. She will join the event from her launch site in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, via a video link.

A panel discussion moderated by ESA astronaut Reinhold Ewald will include Alexander, leading scientists and ESA’s Martin Zell, who is responsible for the European Programme for Life and Physical Sciences.

International out-of-this-world science

Demonstrations of Space Station technologies and experiments will be on display during the lunch break, with opportunities for individual interviews with the scientists.

In the afternoon, leading European scientists involved in the major disciplines of Space Station research will present achievements, how space research is evolving and the future of science and technology on the International Space Station.

Results from the scientific work onboard the ISS, from space-age metals to complex fluids, and plasma research to human research and cell biology as well as space extremophiles that can survive unprotected in open space will be presented.

Draft Programme

10:00 Welcome

–      Thomas Reiter, ESA Director of Human Spaceflight and Operations

–      Johann-Dietrich Wörner, Chairman of the Executive Board of the German Aerospace Center, DLR

10:30 Theme session: The Blue Dot experience, launching Futura

–      Alexander Gerst, ESA Astronaut

–      Samantha Cristoforetti, ESA Astronaut

11:15 Space Station science (panel discussion)

–      Alexander Gerst, ESA astronaut

–      Andreas Meyer, Head of DLR’s Institute for Materials Physics in Space

–      Dominique Langevin, Laboratoire de Physique des Solides, Orsay, France

–      Hubertus Thomas, Research Group on Complex Plasmas, DLR

–      Lars Karlsson, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

–      Silvia Bradamante, Scienze e Tecnologie Molecolari, Milan, Italy

–      Herve Cottin, Université Paris-Est Créteil, France

–      Richard B. Olsen, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment

–      Martin Zell, ESA’s Head of Space Station Utilisation and Support Department

Moderated by ESA astronaut Reinhold Ewald

12:15 Lunch break (during lunch break: displays and Space Station technological demonstrations)

13:00 Lectures on selected research topics Materials Research in Space:

–      Andreas Meyer (DLR Inst. of Material Physics, DE)

–      Complex Fluids: Dominique Langevin (CNRS, Univ. Paris-Sud, FR)

–      Cold Plasma Research: Hubertus Thomas (DLR Oberpfaffenhofen, DE)

Coffee break


–      Human Research: Lars Karlsson (Karolinska, Stockholm, SE)

–      Cell Biology: Silvia Bradamante (Inst. Scient. Tecnol. Milano, IT)

–      Astrobiology: Herve Cottin (Univ. Est Créteil Val de Marne, FR)

16:30 Conclusions

–      Mike Cruise, ESA's Human Spaceflight and Exploration Science Advisory Committee Chair

–      Thomas Reiter, ESA Director of Human Spaceflight and Operations

17:00 End


Media representatives interested in attending the event are requested to register by Friday, 14 November at:

About the European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) provides Europe’s gateway to space.

ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

ESA has 20 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxem-bourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, of whom 18 are Member States of the EU. Two other Member States of the EU, Hungary and Estonia, are likely soon to become new ESA Member States.

ESA has Cooperation Agreements with six other Member States of the EU. Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement.

ESA is also working with the EU on implementing the Galileo and Copernicus programmes.

By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.

ESA develops the launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global space activities.

Today, it develops and launches satellites for Earth observation, naviga-tion, telecommunications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System and cooperates in the human exploration of space.

Learn more about ESA at

For further information:

ESA Media Relations Office


Tel: +33 1 53 69 72 99