European Astronaut Corps
The European Astronaut Corps is a unit of the European Space Agency (ESA) that selects, trains, and provides astronauts as crew members on U.S. and Russian space missions. As of May 2010, 21 ESA astronauts have flown in space, including one woman. There are currently 14 active members of the Corps. The European Astronaut Corps is based at the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany. They can be assigned to various projects both in Europe (at ESTEC, for instance) or elsewhere in the world, at NASA Johnson Space Center or Star City.
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Future of the European Astronaut Corps 
Selection of new astronauts 
According to French weekly Air & Cosmos, only six astronauts (Fuglesang, Schlegel, Nespoli, Eyharts, De Winne and Kuipers) remain available for immediate flight. Vittori and Clervoy are on temporary leave or assigned to other duties. The head of human spaceflight at ESA recommended that at least four more astronauts (plus four other in reserve) should be added after the launch of Columbus in February 2008.
On April 3, 2008, ESA director general Jean-Jacques Dordain announced that recruiting for a new class of European astronauts will start in the near future. The selection program for 4 new astronauts was launched on May 19, 2008 with applications due by 16 June 2008 so that final selection would be due spring 2009. Almost 10 000 people registered as astronaut candidates 2008-06-18. 8413 fulfilled the initial application criteria. From these 918 were chosen to take part in the first stage of psychological testing which lead to 192 candidates in 2008-09-24. After two stage psychological tests 80 candidates will continue to medical evaluation in January/February 2009. 40 or so candidates will head to a formal interviews to select the four new members to European Astronaut Corps.
After the ISS 
The funding by NASA and Russia of the International Space Station is scheduled to end in 2020. The role and activities of European astronauts beyond this date, and in particular their involvement in the Vision for Space Exploration, including missions to the Lunar outpost, is unclear.
There are fourteen members of the European Astronaut Corps.
Eight of the current members of the corps have flown in space. All experienced members except Jean-François Clervoy have visited the ISS.
André Kuipers is the member of the corps who has spent the most time in space on a single mission, more than 194 days. The European record for total time spent in space belongs to former German astronaut Thomas Reiter with 350 days.
The youngest member of the corps is Thomas Pesquet, born in 1978, while the oldest is Hans Schlegel, born in 1951. The corps currently includes one woman, Samantha Cristoforetti. Only two other women have been members of the corps. Marianne Merchez who never flew, and Claudie Haigneré who resigned after two flights to start a political career in France. The only minority member is Léopold Eyharts, who belongs to the Basque ethnic group.
Former members 
There are fourteen former members of the ESA.
- Maurizio Cheli
- Pedro Duque
- Reinhold Ewald
- Umberto Guidoni
- Claudie Haigneré née André-Deshays
- Jean-Pierre Haigneré
- Ulf Merbold
- Marianne Merchez*
- Claude Nicollier
- Wubbo Ockels
- Philippe Perrin
- Thomas Reiter
- Michel Tognini
- Gerhard Thiele
* No space missions
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Non ESA European Astronauts 
Warsaw Pact (1955-1991) Cosmonauts 
- Aleksandr Panayotov Aleksandrov
- Georgi Ivanov
- Mirosław Hermaszewski
- Sigmund Jähn
- Vladimír Remek
- Bertalan Farkas
- Dumitru Prunariu
- Excluding Soviet cosmonauts from European Russia.
Other Astronauts 
- Klaus-Dietrich Flade
- Reinhard Furrer
- Ernst Messerschmid
- Ulrich Walter
- Patrick Baudry
- Jean-Loup Chrétien
- Jean-Jacques Favier
- Franco Malerba
- Dirk Frimout
- Franz Viehböck
- Ivan Bella
- Helen Sharman
NASA Space Shuttle missions 
Astronauts from the European Astronaut Corps participated in several Space Shuttle missions before the ISS era, in particular as Spacelab Payload Specialists.
As Payload Specialists 
As Mission Specialists 
- Claude Nicollier - STS-46, STS-61, STS-75, STS-103
- Maurizio Cheli - STS-75
- Jean-François Clervoy - STS-66, STS-84, STS-103
- Gerhard Thiele - STS-99
- Pedro Duque - STS-95
- Roberto Vittori - STS-134
Missions on space stations 
Mir visits 
- Jean-Loup Chrétien - Aragatz (1988) France
- Helen Sharman - Project Juno (1991) UK
- Franz Viehböck - Austromir '91 (1991) Austria
- Klaus-Dietrich Flade - Mir '92 (1992) Germany
- Michel Tognini - Antarès (1992) France
- Jean-Pierre Haigneré - Altair (1993) France
- Ulf Merbold - Euromir '94 (1994) Germany
- Thomas Reiter - Euromir '95 (1995) Germany
- Claudie Haigneré - Cassiopée (1996) France
- Reinhold Ewald - Mir '97 (1997) Germany
- Léopold Eyharts - Pégase (1998) France
- Ivan Bella - Stefanik (1999) Slovakia
ISS visits 
ESA astronauts to have visited the ISS are:
- Guidoni, ESA, 9th ISS flight (6A) MPLM Raffaello, STS-100/ISS
- Vittori, ASI Eneide, Soyuz/ISS
- Vittori, ASI Marco Polo, Soyuz/ISS
- Claudie Haigneré, CNES Andromède, Soyuz/ISS
- Perrin, NASA/CNES, ISS assembly flight UF-2, STS-111/ISS
- De Winne, ESA, Odissea, Soyuz/ISS
- Duque, ESA, Cervantes, Soyuz/ISS
- Kuipers, ESA, DELTA Mission, 8S/ISS, Expedition 30 and Expedition 31
- Reiter, ESA Astrolab, ISS assembly flight ULF 1.1, STS-121/ISS, Expedition 13
- Fuglesang, ESA Celsius, ISS assembly flight 12A.1, STS-116/ISS
- Nespoli, ESA Esperia, ISS assembly flight 10A, STS-120/ISS
- Schlegel, ISS assembly flight 1E, STS-122/ISS
- Eyharts, STS-122/ISS, Expedition 16
- Fuglesang, ESA Alisse, ISS assembly flight 17A, STS-128
- De Winne, Expedition 20 and ISS Commander of Expedition 21
- Paolo Nespoli, Soyuz TMA-20, Expedition 26 and Expedition 27
Upcoming missions 
Crew members 
- Luca Parmitano - Expedition 36 and Expedition 37 
- Alexander Gerst - Expedition 40 and Expedition 41 
- Samantha Cristoforetti - Expedition 42 
Back-up crew members 
See also 
- Spaceflight Now | ATV Mission Report | Europe's new cargo freighter safely docks to space station
- "European Manned Spaceflight Patches". ESA. 29 October 2009. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
- "ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano assigned to 2013 Space Station mission". ESA. Retrieved 2011-02-20.
- "ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst to fly to Space Station in 2014". ESA. Retrieved 2011-09-28.
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