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STS-121 (EXP-12)



Submitted by Arthur N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468

ESA astronaut to carry out first European long-duration mission on the ISS

(http://www.esa.int/esaCP/index.html)

28 April 2005

ESA PR 23-2005. This July, ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter from Germany is 
about to

become the first European to live and work on the International Space 
Station (ISS)

on a long-duration mission.

ESA Director of Human Spaceflight, Microgravity and Exploration, Daniel 
Sacotte,

recently signed an agreement on the mission with the Head of the Russian 
Federal

Space Agency (Roscosmos), Anatoli Perminov. "The agreement covers the ESA

astronaut’s flight in a crew position originally planned for a Russian 
cosmonaut",

explained Sacotte, "and he will perform all the tasks originally 
allocated to the

second Russian cosmonaut on board the ISS and, in addition, an ESA 
experimental

programme."

The agreement forms part of a set of bilateral understandings between 
Roscosmos and

NASA and between ESA and NASA, enabling the implementation of the mission.

Thomas Reiter, the astronaut assigned to the mission, is a member of the 
European

Astronaut Corps, based at ESA's European Astronaut Centre (EAC) in Cologne,

Germany. Léopold Eyharts, from France, a member of the same Corps, will 
be the

back-up for this mission.

Reiter will reach the ISS on Space Shuttle flight STS-121 currently 
planned for

next July, and return to Earth on flight STS-116 in February.



EuroMir-95: departure for launch site

EuroMir-95: departure for launch site
This will be Reiter's second long-duration mission on board a space 
station,

following his six-month stay on the Russian Mir, ten years ago, during 
the ESA

Euromir 1995 mission.

"With the maiden flight of the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) and the 
launch of

the European laboratory Columbus, both in 2006, ESA is making important

contributions to the ISS and its scientific capabilities and, 
consequently, we are

assuming significant operational responsibilities in this programme. I 
am confident

that this mission will give Europe a lot of operational experience and 
scientific

results which will further prepare us for the exciting and challenging 
times

ahead," said Thomas Reiter.

"Moreover," Léopold Eyharts pointed out, "as the back-up astronaut for this

mission, I am receiving the same training as Thomas Reiter, which will 
be an

excellent preparation for my tasks as prime astronaut for a future ESA 
mission to

the ISS in connection with Columbus."

Both astronauts are already in training for the mission in the various 
ISS training

facilities at Houston, Moscow and Cologne, together with their Russian 
and American

astronaut colleagues.



ISS

"For the first time, and as a test for later European long-duration 
missions to the

ISS, mission preparation, training, operations and multilateral 
coordination will

be carried out as far as possible through the multilateral 
decision-making and

management structures established for ISS exploitation," underlined 
ESA's Mission

Manager Aldo Petrivelli.

"This will be an excellent opportunity for testing coordination and 
cooperation

between ground control and support centres like the Houston and Moscow 
Mission

Control Centres, the Columbus Control Centre in Oberpfaffenhofen, near 
Munich (*),

the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne and the various User Support and

Operations Centres throughout Europe that will be involved in the 
mission. The

operational teams from ESA, national space agencies, industry and research

institutions in Europe will thus gain very useful operational 
experience, also for

future Columbus system, subsystems and payload operations."
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