From 26 August to 6 September, ESA’s European Astronaut Centre (EAC), in
Cologne, Germany, is for the first time hosting an international group of
astronauts for training in preparation for their missions to the
International Space Station.

There will be ten participants: four ESA astronauts (Pedro Duque, Leopold
Eyharts, Paolo Nespoli and Thomas Reiter), four Japanese astronauts from
NASDA (Takao Doi, Koichi Wakata, Satoshi Furukawa and Aikihido Hoshide)
and two NASA astronauts (Nicole Passonno Stott and Stephanie D. Wilson).

The main objective of this training session is to prepare the astronauts
for the tasks they will have to perform when the Japanese experiment
module (JEM) and ESA’s Columbus laboratory are docked with the core of the
International Space Station over the years ahead. After completing their
training and certification, the astronauts will be assigned to
long-duration missions to the ISS.

The advanced training at the EAC will focus on the Columbus systems and
the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV). It will consist of 24 classroom
lectures on the Columbus and ATV systems and 4 on payloads, and 2 sessions
in the Columbus Trainer. Instructors are being provided by Astrium for the
Columbus systems and Alenia Spazio for the ATV, with ESA/EAC staff as
mentors for the Columbus payloads. The astronauts are scheduled to visit
Astrium in Bremen on 30 August to get acquainted with the flight unit of
the Columbus laboratory module currently undergoing integration.

This group of astronauts started their advanced training in April 2001 at
NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC), Houston, where they attended a first
course on the US segment of the International Space Station. This was
followed by training on the JEM system at NASDA’s Tsukuba Space Center,
Japan, in December 2001 – January 2002 and additional training at the JSC
in May 2002.

At the beginning of next year the group will be returning to Tsukuba for
training on Japanese payloads. Hands-on sessions on Columbus Payload
Training Models are scheduled for the second half of 2003, again at ESA’s
European Astronaut Centre.

On Thursday 5 September, between 16:30 and 18:30 hrs, the astronauts and
other ESA specialists will be available for interviews. Media
representatives interested in meeting them are requested to complete the
attached reply form and to fax it by Tuesday 3 September to Maren Stock at

For further information:

Maren Stock
ESA/European Astronaut Centre
Tel: +49 2203 6001-111
Fax: +49 2203 6001-112

Accreditation form
Meet ten astronauts at EAC, Cologne (Germany)

Thursday 5 September 2002

Surname:___________________First name : ____________________________

Media :__________________________________________________________

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[ ] I will be attending

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Please return by fax to :
Maren Stock
ESA/European Astronaut Centre
Fax. +49 2203 6001-112