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Science & Exploration

N° 5–2009: King Albert II to visit European Astronaut Centre

13 March 2009

Their Majesties Albert II King of the Belgians and Queen Paola will be visiting the European Astronaut Centre of the European Space Agency (ESA) in Cologne, Germany, on 19 March 2009. Media representatives are invited to attend.


At the European Astronaut Centre, King Albert and Queen Paola will meet ESA astronaut Frank De Winne who is currently training for his upcoming long-duration mission onboard the International Space Station. They will also be informed by ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain of the Agency’s activities and Belgium’s contribution in particular.

The royal party will be accompanied by Sabine Laruelle, Federal Minister of Science Policy, and Pieter De Crem, Belgian Minister of Defence.

Media representatives wishing to attend this event on 19 March are kindly requested to fill in the attached accreditation form and return it by fax or email to the EAC by 17 March.

About the EAC

The European Astronaut Centre located in Cologne, Germany, is home to the European Astronaut Corps. It defines, prepares and implements astronaut training programmes for a variety of missions, including activities for the International Space Station. The Centre coordinates cooperation on astronaut training between ESA and its international partners. It is responsible for the preparation, planning and scheduling of European astronaut tasks and flight assignments and coordinates astronaut activities with other countries. ESA is currently in the process of selecting a new batch of European astronauts.

Further information:

Jean Coisne

Head of EAC Communications & PR Office

Communication and Knowledge Department

Tel: +49 2203 6001 110



11:05 Arrival at EAC main entrance, welcomed by:

-Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA Director General

-Simonetta Di Pippo, ESA Director of Human Spaceflight

-Michel Tognini, Head of EAC and ESA astronaut

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

-Frank De Winne, ESA astronaut

11:10 Arrival at meeting room

12:25 End of meeting

12:45 Arrival of King Albert II at cafeteria

-Frank De Winne presents his crew to His Majesty

13:15 Lunch for the press provided by ESA

14:00 Guided tour of EAC training facilities by Frank De Winne covering:

-European Columbus laboratory

-scientific facilities inside the laboratory

-Europe's ATV supply vessel and its docking system

14:45 End of visit


Visit of HM King Albert II and HM Queen Paola

Thursday, 19 March 2009

European Astronaut Centre

Linder Höhe, 51147 Cologne, Germany

First name: _________________________________________

Surname: _____________________________________________

Media organisation: ___________________________________

Address: _____________________________________________


Tel: ________________________ Fax: _____________________

Mobile: ___________________ Email: ____________________

( ) I shall be attending the royal visit

Please return by fax or email to:

Jean Coisne

Head of EAC Communications & PR Office

Communication and Knowledge Department

Fax: +49 2203 6001 112



For further information:

ESA Media Relations Office

Tel: +33(0)1.5369.7299

Fax: +33(0)1.5369.7690