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 Nov 2014, 24 ESA astronauts are now able to go board the ISS. There are currently 47 members of the Corps, 26 currently active. 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.
- 1 History
- 2 Future of the European Astronaut Corps
- 3 Current members
- 4 Former members
- 5 Non-ESA European astronauts/cosmonauts (excluding Russians)
- 6 Space Shuttle missions
- 7 Missions to the Mir space stations
- 8 Missions to the International Space Station
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
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Selection of new astronauts in 2009
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 led 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.
Future of the European Astronaut Corps
After the ISS
The funding by NASA and Russia of the International Space Station is currently planned to end in 2028. The role of European astronauts beyond this point is unclear. Some speculation suggests ESA's involvement with Nasa's Orion programme may give European astronauts a seat aboard the Orion spacecraft, although this has not been announced.
There are sixteen active members of the European Astronaut Corps.
All of the current members of the corps have flown to space, except Maurer. All flown 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, more than 203 days. The European record for total time spent in space belongs to former German astronaut Thomas Reiter with 350 days. The oldest is Hans Schlegel, born in 1951. The corps currently includes one woman, Samantha Cristoforetti, who formerly held the record for the longest spaceflight by a woman. Only two other women have been members of the corps. Marianne Merchez who never flew, and Claudie Haigneré who resigned after two missions to start a political career in France.
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There are thirteen former members of the ESA.
- Maurizio Cheli
- Reinhold Ewald
- Frank De Winne
- Pedro Duque
- 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
Non-ESA European astronauts/cosmonauts (excluding Russians)
Soviet Union's Interkosmos program participants
- Aleksandr Panayotov Aleksandrov
- Georgi Ivanov
- Vladimír Remek
- Sigmund Jähn
- Jean-Loup Chrétien
- Bertalan Farkas
- Mirosław Hermaszewski
- Dumitru Prunariu
- Klaus-Dietrich Flade
- Reinhard Furrer
- Ernst Messerschmid
- Ulrich Walter
- Patrick Baudry
- Jean-Jacques Favier
- Franco Malerba
- Dirk Frimout
- Franz Viehböck
- Ivan Bella
- Helen Sharman
Space Shuttle missions
Astronauts from the European Astronaut Corps participated in several NASA Space Shuttle missions before the ISS era, in particular as Spacelab Payload Specialists. (This list excludes missions to Mir or the ISS)
As Payload Specialists
- Ulf Merbold - STS-9 (Spacelab), STS-42 (Spacelab)
- Reinhard Furrer - STS-61-A (Spacelab-D1 Mission)
- Wubbo Ockels - STS-61-A (Spacelab-D1 Mission)
- Hans Schlegel - STS-55 (Spacelab-D2 Mission)
- Ulrich Walter - STS-55 (Spacelab-D2 Mission)
As Mission Specialists
- Claude Nicollier - STS-46, STS-61 (Hubble), STS-75, STS-103 (Hubble)
- Libasse Diop - STS-46, STS-61 (Hubble)
- Maurizio Cheli - STS-75
- Jean-François Clervoy - STS-66, STS-103 (Hubble)
- Gerhard Thiele - STS-99
- Pedro Duque - STS-95
Missions to the Mir space stations
- 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
- Jean-Loup Chrétien - STS-86 (1997) France
- Léopold Eyharts - Pégase (1998) France
- Jean-Pierre Haigneré - Perseus (1999) France
- Ivan Bella - Stefanik (1999) Slovakia
Missions to the International Space Station
European astronauts to have visited the ISS are:
- NASA Astronaut Corps
- List of astronauts by selection
- Human spaceflight
- History of spaceflight
- European contribution to the International Space Station
- Clark, Stephen (3 April 2008). "Europe's new cargo freighter safely docks to space station". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
- "Closing in on new astronauts". ESA. 24 September 2008. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
- "European astronauts in new functions". ESA. 17 September 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
- "European Manned Spaceflight Patches" (PDF). ESA. 29 October 2009. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
- "The iriss name and logos". ESA. 25 November 2015. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
- "ESA mission name for astronaut Tim Peake: Principia F". ESA. 18 July 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
- "Thomas Pesquet closer to space with mission name Proxima". ESA. 12 November 2015. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
- "Third spaceflight for astronaut Paolo Nespoli". ESA. 30 July 2015. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
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