#CallAlex at the EAC in Cologne

I was one of the 40 lucky ones who was invited to the CallAlex event at the EAC in Cologne. I liked the fact that there were a lot of new spacefans who never went to such an event.

This is the welcome speech by Andreas Schepers and Jules Grandsire, communication officers at ESA.

IMG_0881

First we visited the Envihab. Altought it was the second time I visited the Envihab it still impresses me. A pratical but very beautiful building. We saw the centrifuge. They use it mainly for research purposes. They were performing tests on it at that moment.

IMG_0885

Another large study is the bedrest study. Persons who are physicologically tested beforehand, stay for 60 or 90 days in a bed. The bed is tilted to stimulate weightlesness environment. A lot of blood goes to the head. They even shower lying down.

IMG_0890

I wouldn’t and couldn’t do it frankly.
There’s also a room with a lot of special gym equipment. It’s used for research but also for tests on astronauts before and after their long term stay on the ISS. Alexander Gerst will be the first astronaut who will go straight from Kazahkstan to Cologne (instead first to the US).
More on Envihab here: http://www.dlr.de/envihab/en/desktopdefault.aspx”>hab/en/desktopdefault.aspx

Frank de Winne, Belgian astronaut and head of the EAC, talked about his stay on the ISS and answered many questions from the audience.

IMG_0894

11 people were able to ask a question to Alexander on the ISS. Alex looked really comfortable and happy on the screen.

IMG_0897

You may find the replay of this at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Y4APzYYKok

Afterwards we went on a tour to Eurocom and the Columbus and ATV module in the training center.

Our tour leader was Lionel Ferra, astronaut instructor (especially on ATV) and Eurocom. Being an Eurocom is really interesting. They speak with astronauts and help astronauts with performing science on the Columbus Module. They’re either at EAC or at Col-CC (near Munich).

IMG_0901

There was a nice mockup of the Columbus Module at the Eurocom desk:

IMG_0906

You may find lots of signed photos of crew trainings on the walls of the EAC. Nice touch.

IMG_0909

The fifth and last ATV is at this moment in space, docked at the ISS. This means that the training in the ATV module at EAC has stopped. It’s a 1:1 setup. Impressive to see what they all have to do in the ATV.

IMG_0910

IMG_0919

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s