Night of the astronauts

July 14, 2004

Paris, 13 Jul 2004

As part of German Space Day activities, ESA is organising a 'gala' night on 17 September in the KölnArena in Cologne (Germany). All the members of the European Astronaut Corps and their colleagues from Russia and the USA will be on hand to guide the public through a fantastic journey into space. This journey will bring the dream of space to the heart of this historic city.

Hosted by German TV presenter Evi Seibert and ESA astronaut Ulf Merbold, the public can see all stages of a journey into space, from training, to the launch, from docking to landing. Highlights include an uplink to the ISS, images and videos from recent astronaut missions and from Mars Express, live 3D camera and laser show, and most important the chance to meet the astronauts and hear at first hand about their remarkable adventures.

The programme


Laser show and appearance of the astronauts


  • Survival training in Star City, Moscow, with Frank De Winne
  • Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) training in JSC, Houston with Christer Fuglesang and Claude Nicollier
  • Advanced training at the European Astronaut Centre (EAC), Cologne with Paolo Nespoli

Pre-flight activities

  • Gerhard Thiele & Roberto Vittori outline the differences between Russian and American pre-flight activities followed by personal remarks

    Lift off and reaching orbit

    • "Houston we are ready for lift off…"
    • Based on video material, Michel Tognini, head of the European Astronaut Corps, explains the differences between flying on the Soyuz and on the shuttle
    • Hans Schlegel and Leopold Eyharts reflect on their experiences and feelings during liftoff and on reaching orbit

Voyage to ISS & docking

Andre Kuipers gives his personal impression of the recent DELTA mission and comments on his perception of weightlessness. The audience can share his experience in a 3D video of a parabolic flight.

Life on board the ISS

  • Ernst Messerschmid, head of the European Astronaut Centre describes the purpose of the ISS
  • Experience the ISS with a 3D film
  • Reinhold Ewald talks about risk management during a mission (fire in the Mir station)
  • Pedro Duque's visit to the ISS with video and 3-D photographs
  • Gennadi Padalka & Mike Fincke uplink with the ISS (may be pre-recorded)

The future of the ISS

  • Thomas Reiter gives his views on the future outlook for the ISS
  • New insights into the ESA-Aurora programme and new results from Mars Express
  • Live 3-D camera documenting the discussion on ESA's future missions
  • Mars Exploration session

Final view of Earth and landing

Jean-François Clervoy reflects on the beauty of seeing Earth for the last time before landing and then gives an account of the landing procedure, illustrated by video clips


The astronauts Gerhard Thiele, Claude Nicollier and Roberto Vittori sum up the event by talking about their most memorable experiences in space accompanied by video footage

Tickets are on sale now at: KölnArena Hotline: +49 221 2801

Entrance €15 to €30

European Space Agency ml
Item source: 6WD_index_0.html

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