ESA astronauts celebrate 20 years on the International Space Station
Hello! I am Umberto Guidoni, a former ESA astronaut. 20 years ago, with six other crew members, I had the privilege to participate in one of the earliest assembly missions of the International Space station. I was the first European to visit the ISS, and I felt a responsibility to represent not only my country, but also the entire European continent. Our main task was to install Canadarm2, a space crane needed to complete the construction of the ISS.
In addition, the Space Shuttle Endeavour was carrying supplies for the station’s crew. We delivered consumables and scientific experiments, thanks to the Raffaello logistics module, the jewel of our European technology. I joined ESA in 1998, when the European astronaut corps was created, bringing together astronauts from individual member states. It was a forward-looking decision, in line with the EU motto: united in diversity. Indeed, European astronauts share the same goals, and wear the same uniform, a blue flight suit, while retaining their country’s flag.
Working aboard the ISS, I felt I was making a small contribution to building humanity’s first outpost in space. The sprit of international collaboration was well represented by our diverse crew, made up of four Americans, a Canadian, a Russian, and myself, a European with an Italian flag. We should be proud of more than two decades of human presence in orbit. For the scientific and technological achievements, but above all, because up there, a small group of men and women have proved what we could achieve by working together for the progress of humankind. It is the most important lesson of the ISS project, especially significant in this difficult time for the planet. Over the next 20 years, space will be the arena for competition and collaboration between the national agencies and private companies.
We will see a new era of human exploration beyond Earth’s orbit, starting with the return of a human crew to the Moon, after half a century. And the Moon will be just the first step. Human spaceflight is not only important for its scientific and economic values, but also because it concerns the future of our civilisation. Humanity has evolved thanks to its ability to explore the unknown, to go beyond the pillars of Hercules. More than 500 years after Columbus’ voyage, we do not remember the details of the discoveries, but we are aware of how that event changed the history of the world.
Imagine what the colonisation of Mars can represent for our future. Thank you for listening, and ciao. I am Claudie Haigneré. I am a medical doctor, a rheumatologist, and a scientist in the field of neuroscience. I am a French ESA astronaut, and I have been selected in '85, by CNES, the French Space Agency. I had the unique privilege to fly twice on board Station, in orbit.
In ’96 aboard the Mir station, and then in 2001 in the International Space Station, at the very initial construction phase. I participated in the expansion of scientific and operational cooperation between Russia, Europe and the USA. It was as much a rich human adventure as a scientific one.
I appreciated the unity of the crew in its diversity. Gender, culture, professions, it was a real team spirit that served the success of these complex missions, and it was obvious at every moment that everything had to be done to advance knowledge and technological know-how in this specific microgravity environment. I was fascinated by the view of the Earth through the window. Such a beautiful planet. Carrying life. But such a fragile and vulnerable one.
And it is this new view, full of admiration, respect and responsibility that all astronauts like to share under each other. The ISS, with its multiple laboratories, including the European Columbus Module, enables a very broad spectrum of experiments to be carried out at the cutting edge of research and technology. And I admire the progress that has been made during this 20 years of permanent chosen life. and I am so proud of the results.
It has provided us with essential innovations, for some of our terrestrial challenges, climate change and obviously health issues. And it allows us to look forward with confidence for the future phases of human exploration beyond low Earth orbit, and then to the Moon very shortly, and then to the planet Mars. ISS, with its high level of research and its excellent International cooperation, is an essential and unique, infrastructure, to which Europe, through ESA, is proud to contribute, for the benefit of all humanity. And the journey continues towards unexplored territories of knowledge and life. It will be challenging, but inspiring and thrilling.
And for that we need all the talent, men and women. And I am pleased that the European intelligence is working ambitiously on it. Welcome to the European Astronaut Centre, here in Cologne. The home-base where, more than 20 years now, we are training astronauts for the International Space Station.
So, congratulations to all the partners that have made this wonderful project possible. For more than 20 years now, we have humans living and working in space. And I was one of the lucky ones. I’ve been there twice. On my second mission I was there for 6 months, and you’re here in a mock-up of the Columbus module, where I have spent 6 months, doing science and working and living in space.
Of course, we did not only work, we also had memorable moments, for example when we celebrated Halloween on orbit. And when we tried to dress up and tried to find things that we could do just to surprise each other. These are also memorable moments of course, but the most important thing is that, for 20 years now, we have been delivering science, technology, for the benefit of humankind.
So again, the International Space Station: congratulations! Congratulations to everyone in ESA that is involved in the human spaceflight. 20 years already since ESA became a partner, a full and recognised partner of the International Space Station. What memories. I worked for several years in the last stages of design and development of this Columbus Module and I was extremely happy to see it finally go up to space and some of my colleagues there, Leopold and Hans putting it together, together with the other partners. When I went to the International Space Station, it was a little bit earlier than that, and I really had an overwhelming feeling of awe for the technology that we were using there.
I still remember the first time we opened the hatch, the clean air, the sense of being in a building instead of just being in a tiny spacecraft. The ISS then, and much more now, gives us the feeling of something permanent. This is something in which we are actually building a permanent science laboratory in space. And being there is really overwhelming from the point of view of the enormous space that we have, the level of technology that we’re using, the technology displayed also in the science experiments It was really the highlight of my life and probably of anyone’s life that actually gets there.
I hope that in the next 20 years, ESA will keep growing, in partnership with other nations in human spaceflight. It will become more and more important in the conquering of space, and hopefully in 20 years we will see European astronauts, as well as probably other partners, walking on the Moon, studying the Moon, having a permanent presence probably in or around the Moon. And who knows, maybe already putting together the spacecraft that will go to Mars. Hopefully also with European Space Agency astronauts in there For that, we are choosing a new generation, so I’m hoping that everybody in Europe that has a drive to work in space, that has a drive to be at the forefront of technology and wants to be operational about it, and do something about it, and be really in the middle of it, applies to our selection for a European astronaut.
So, congratulations to everybody and for the next 20 years. Hello, I'm André Kuipers, astronaut of the European Space Agency, and I went to the International Space Station twice, in 2004 and in 2012. When I birthed the first Dragon to the International Space Station, I realised I was doing something special. There I was, a Dutch astronaut, from a European Space Agency, working with a Canadian robotic arm, docking an American commercial spacecraft to an international space station. A beautiful example of how all these technologies, and countries, came together. Also, when I docked the European ATV to the Russian side, working together with my Russian colleague.
That is the most important thing for me for the International Space Station. It’s built by all kinds of countries that were fighting each other, not so long ago, in hot and cold wars. And now, building on the biggest technological project there is. A beautiful example of how you can cooperate. For me, the International Space Station is a beautiful candidate for a Nobel Peace Prize. Dear ladies and gentlemen, dear colleagues, dear friends, It’s hard to believe that it’s already 20 years ago since our dear colleague, Umberto Guidoni, was floating through the hatch of the Shuttle and entered the International Space Station as the first European.
So much has happened since then. So much successes, but also lots of challenges. If I counted correctly, 17 European astronauts have flown to the ISS since then. Myself, I was number eight in row, the first European long term flight, in 2006.
The Station was much smaller then, and today it’s such a huge structure in low Earth orbit, which gives a permanent home to seven astronauts. I am so proud on our achievements, in Europe and together with our international partners. Columbus is serving as an excellent research platform and going through a midlife update. Five ATVs have supplied the Station with more than 30 metric tonnes of goods. We had three European ISS commanders.
Very close to the same day in 2001, our dear colleague Thomas Pesquet will start his Mission Alpha, and become the fourth European ISS commander. And still, the Station is growing. We are expecting the launch of the Russian module MLM, which will bring the European Robotic Arm to ISS. How long have we been waiting for this moment. And the success story continues, with the launch of Matthias Maurer in fall this year, and Samantha Cristoforetti in spring next year, and of course many more European astronauts to come. ESA’s role in the ISS programme proves our capabilities and our reliability, not only in human exploration, but in space flight in general.
We have been using ISS also to advance our technological capabilities, to assume and expand our role in exploration. The picture behind me hints a little bit in this direction. Of course I hope, as most likely all of you, that ISS will remain not only till the end of this decade, but hopefully till the beginning of next decade, so we can celebrate the 30th anniversary of European astronauts working on board ISS and advancing our knowledge for the benefit of humankind. Now I wish all my colleagues who are about to leave this planet for their missions all the best, success during their stay on board, and a safe return to Earth. Happy anniversary. Hi, my name is Christer Fuglesang.
I was an ESA astronaut, and I’m a professor now at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. And I’m here to say a few words about the fantastic International Space Station, which has now almost 20 years been continuously crewed. I was actually part of the very first crew, when they launched and went to the International Space Station in the year 2000.
I was a support astronaut at the Moscow mission control centre, TsUP and I followed the Soyuz flight from launch to the docking to International Space Station, first of November, the year 2000, very closely. Some years later, in December 2006, I got the wonderful opportunity to visit the International Space Station myself, and I took part in the assembly of the International Space Station. And then again in 2009. Two missions, STS-116 and 128. And it was absolutely fabulous to be part of doing this, to be part of building this most fabulous construction humans have built. I was happy, and lucky, to be able to do a few spacewalks, and seeing the Earth, floating below, in this case it was 360 kilometres below, while outside on the Space Station, was an absolutely unforgettable experience.
We’re building this International Space Station to learn how to build and live in space, but also to learn what we need to know to go farther into space. And I’m sure ISS will be used many more years as well. And right now, I want to congratulate everybody who has been involved in this fabulous endeavour to build and construct and live on the International Space Station.
Twenty years, that’s a long time. Congratulations. Hello, I am Hans Schlegel, a European astronaut and German citizen.
This year, we at ESA celebrate the 20th anniversary of our human presence on board the International Space Station. On Shuttle, Atlantis, my ISS 22 crew and I took the European science module Columbus into space. We felt privileged and honoured to install Columbus onto the International Space Station. A place to go for experiments and instruments of European scientists and engineers. Long term research and tests in micro g for many years to come.
My ESA colleague and French friend, Leopold Eyharts, shared the excitement of our launch and travel to the ISS. Once at the ISS, we were a crew of seven US astronauts, two ESA astronauts, and one Russian cosmonaut. Our international crew worked intensely and lived closely together for almost 13 days in space. We performed three spacewalks to install Columbus and exchanged several essential parts of ISS. I feel that our crew was, and the entire ISS program at ESA is, a role model for international cooperation. This cooperation is needed for complex and challenging endeavours of mankind.
To realise the impossible. When I was out to do my spacewalk, it was the personal highlight of my astronaut career. The challenge to control my own little spacecraft as the everlasting task in the background.
The assigned tasks which had to be completed regardless of the unexpected. A little to no room for deviation from the optimal, safest way to proceed. The surprise and joy when we flew over Europe with the clearest sight I ever experienced on board or on ground. The unexpected flight path, leading us right over my home area, Aachen and Cologne. And our mindful pilot decks, who instructed me to take a minute to look to the ground when we approached Germany.
This sight, and my feelings, were overwhelming. I needed to call me to order and concentrate on my work. My personal hope for the future of human spaceflight is that we continue to further develop our International cooperation. By doing so, we will be able to realise sustainable research and exploration in our entire Solar System, for the benefit of all. Twenty years of International Space Station.
One of the privileges that we have while living on orbit is to make the ordinary extraordinary. Even a dinner becomes a chance to go beyond any limitations and any heritage. I remember one dinner where we had my crewmate, Jessica Meir, of Jewish heritage, enjoying Russian and Italian food together with the Russian colleagues, Americans, and Hazza Al Mansouri, who is the first United Arab Emirates astronaut. There are no limitations to what we can do when we want to do extraordinary things.
Maybe the challenge for the next 20 years is, let’s do extraordinary things also on the ground. Hey, I’m ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst. And what you see behind me here are the training mock-ups for the International Space Station, at the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne. And believe me, I’ve spent a lot of time in these mock-ups. And actually, I’ve spent even more time on the real International Space Station, about one year. What might seem long to you, is actually only one twentieth of the inhabited lifetime of ISS.
That means, if you’re 40 years old, or younger, more than half of your life, a human has lived on the ISS at any time. And that’s an amazing achievement. So if could think of one property of this fantastic machine, that I could pick out, Then I would say, the ISS is the most improbable machine that humanity has ever built.
We all know there’s a lot of science going on, and it’s very important for us down here on Earth to get those science data, but we rarely look at what an achievement it was to actually build that machine. The modules, such as the ones that you see behind me, were actually built on four different continents and were launched individually on rockets into orbit at 28 thousand kilometres an hour where they have been put together, and they had to fit with a precision of more than a 100th of a millimetre together, but they’ve never been tested on Earth if they fit together. That’s how sure engineers were that this machine would work. That’s what an achievement it was to put this machine together in space, working together across the globe. So you see from this fantastic achievement that international cooperation is the key. If you try to do things alone, you can only get so far.
If you work together with other countries, you can achieve things that one nation could never achieve alone. Plus, it forces you to work together in peace. So that’s an achievement alone that I think is already worth the celebration of today. Happy birthday, ISS! Probably my most vivid memory of Space Station is when I saw it for the very first time.
We were approaching Station, you know, going in towards docking, in our Soyuz, our spacecraft. And I had not seen it with my eyes yet. I'd seen it on the camera, on the periscope, but I wanted to see it with my own eyes. The Space Station, that I had trained for, for so long, had been the centre of my thoughts for years, and I wanted to see it.
And so I had been told that when you get to about 40 metres out, if you look out of the side window, you’re gonna to catch a glimpse of it, and so I did. And it was overwhelming. I basically caught a glimpse of the solar arrays, and I knew in my mind how big they are, but it’s different when, you know, you see those gigantic arrays out there, and they’re so beautiful.
And it was a very special moment, those few seconds when the Sun is very low on the horizon, it’s about to set, and it basically flooded Space Station with this orange glow, and you know, the solar arrays, they looked ablaze. It was just amazing. And the next very vivid memory, of course, is opening the hatch and floating through, hugging our buddies. That almost unreal experience of flying to space, and meeting other human beings who are there to hug you, who actually prepared a warm meal for you, who are going to take care of you in a way, in the next, in those first few weeks in which you are learning as a new flyer. Yes, there’s the enjoyment and the excitement, you know, you are floating, you have superpowers, you can live in three dimensions. Everything is effortless.
But at the same time, you have to get used to controlling your body, in weightlessness, controlling all these things that have that tendency of wanting to float away from you. And so your buddies help you out a lot. And then of course a very vivid memory is that first view from the Cupola. This special module which is, you know, very small, but it’s made out of windows. And so you have this amazing view from horizon to horizon of the Earth. And the first thing that I saw through the Cupola was this glorious, glorious sunrise from up there, from space.
And you really get spoiled, you know, that view form the Cupola is something that, you know, it’s amazing, you, I don’t know, you get up every day, before you go to sleep or just, you know, when you go to the toilet, which is right next to it, you get that habit of just taking a peek outside, and see where are we and what’s out there. And there’s always something amazing to see, this ever-changing beauty of the planet, with different seasons and different weather patterns and, you know, the mountains, the oceans, deserts, the forests. And also the feeling of familiarity that you develop over time, you know, this, you look outside and you kind of know what’s coming next, what’s the next thing, the next city, the next continent, the next island that’s going to appear at the horizon, and you kind of wait for it like an old friend. And in a way you feel that distant presence of all the humans down there, that you are over-flying. As I look forward to flying back to Space Station, I think what I feel the most is a, you know, a longing, a desire to go back to a place where I was very happy.
Feel again that feeling of camaraderie, of hard work, but meaningful hard work. Where you know that every little thing that you do, you know, maybe it’s just a 15-minute activity to get an experiment started, but you know that those 15 minutes are really, really important for someone down there on the ground, who probably worked on this experiment for years. And you are helping to get, to get that done, to make it happen. And so I very, very much look forward to going back to ISS. It’s very different this time, it’s a place that I know very well, that’s been my home already for half a year, just a few years ago, And it’s just this desire, this longing of going back to a place that I have loved.
To live again that experience, it’s going to be different in many ways for sure, different vehicle flying there, different people, but I think it will be the same type of camaraderie, that same type of satisfaction also, of very, very dense full days when you get a lot of things done. You, in a week you might do, I dunno, a dozen of experiments that actually represent an accomplishment for teams on the ground, who might have worked on that for years. And there you are, just putting the cherry on the cake, delivering the data that they have worked towards for so long. So hey, as you know, this year we celebrate 20 years of continuous human presence on the ISS, which is an unbelievable achievement.
I was lucky enough to be part of the last 10 years of that story, that ongoing story, and to me, what’s so special about the ISS is its truly international nature, the international nature of that programme. We got people from all over the globe, working with the same ideals of space exploration, research, peaceful cooperation.vv And that makes it to me truly unique and special. So, congratulations to all the ISS partners, on 20 years of success on board the ISS, and here’s to an even better future of exploring farther, together.
November 2nd is a special day, not just because it’s my birthday, but also because this year it’s the 20th anniversary of the first crew to move onboard the International Space Station. 20 years later, the International Space Station is still providing us with exciting new knowledge and new technology. I’ll never forget my visit to the Space Station in 2015. One of the highlights was sitting in Cupola, our window module, and filming blue jets, which are gigantic lightning strikes that shoot upwards out towards space from the top of thunder clouds. And this is an excellent example of new knowledge. This is the first time blue jets were filmed, and already it’s given us more insight into thunder storms and how they impact climate and weather on Earth.
So here’s to another 20 years of living and working on board the Space Station in low Earth orbit. Hello, I’m Tim Peake. And it’s incredible to think that this year, we’re celebrating 20 years of International Space Station occupation.
To my mind, the most incredible feat of human engineering. The size of a football pitch, over 400 tonnes of hardware, in low Earth orbit. But it was built as a scientific laboratory. And for that time it’s been doing valuable research for the benefit of everybody back on Earth. Such as investigations into new drugs, sustainable technology, solar power, renewables, crop growth, and water regeneration. But more than that, it’s about international collaboration.
It couldn’t be done by one nation alone. And it just goes to show what we can do when we work together. I had the privilege of living and working on the Space Station for 6 months. And it was the most incredible time of my life.
I hope that many other astronauts in the future get that opportunity too. So good luck, whatever the future may hold. Hello I’m ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer. 20 years ago, on the 19th of April, 2001, the first European astronaut, Umberto Guidoni, flew to the International Space Station.
His flight paved the way for the addition of ESA’s Columbus laboratory and European astronauts like me to perform essential science and research in orbit to this day. Congratulations Umberto, and congratulations ESA, on 20 years of European missions to the ISS. Right now, I’m training for my very first mission to the ISS, and my mission is known as ‘Cosmic Kiss’. In autumn 2021, I will launch from Cape Canaveral in the United States of America, on a SpaceX Dragon capsule. It is hard to believe, 13 years since I first applied to become an ESA astronaut, my dream now is finally coming true, of flying to space.
Soon, I will be orbiting the Earth roughly every 90 minutes, and I will be able to see 16 sunrises and sunsets a day from the Cupola window on board of the Space Station. Of course, I will be very busy performing experiments in all different scientific disciplines, and I cannot wait to play my part in advancing our knowledge for the benefit of our daily life on Earth, as well as for the future of space travel. My hope for the next 20 years of human space exploration is that we as humanity together successfully explore the Moon, and go even further, to learn more about our Universe and our beautiful planet Earth.
Last but not least, congratulations to everyone who has been involved in making the International Space Station programme such a success. What a shining example of collaboration across borders for our planet. Hello, I’m Jean François Clervoy After seven years working as an astronaut for the French Space Agency, I’ve been selected by ESA in the second group, in 1992.
I’ve been working as an astronaut for 26 years, for ESA. And I had the chance to fly three times on board the Space Shuttle. The first flight was extraordinary for the view of the Earth because we were flying upside down all the time on a high-inclination orbit. As we fly on a high-inclination orbit while the Earth rotates, we can see a lot of the Earth.
That was the best mission for viewing the Earth. On my second spaceflight, on board Atlantis also, it was to resupply the Russian Space Station, Mir. An extraordinary mission to meet other people who are already in space and bringing them food, clothing and spare parts to allow their mission to continue.
And on my third spaceflight, on board Discovery, to repair the Hubble Space Telescope, that was the best experience to have the feeling of having served Science, with a big S. From space we see the Earth as a spaceship. It is limited in size, it is isolated, far from anything else, it is unique, nothing yet resembles the Earth, it is alone in the the black background of the Universe. And we realised, we all humans feel and are as crew members.
We are crew members of spaceship Earth. And then we make the parallel between our spaceship and spaceship Earth. We think that if we manage Earth like we manage our own spaceship, like we manage the Space Station for example, Where astronauts are the champions of anti-wasting and recycling resources, then Earth would allow humankind to go far in the future and live well. So let’s learn how to recycle and save our resources. I’ve been involved in different manners in the ISS. As I was an astronaut at NASA, I was in charge of managing the team designing and developing the cockpit of the ISS.
Basically the cockpit of the ISS is actually a combination of several laptops and the crew controls the ISS by going to various graphic pages on their laptop to click on icons, to control valves or pumps or other electrical equipment And I was very pleased to work on these man-machine interface for ISS. I’ve been also the senior advisor astronaut for the ATV Jules Verne. This huge resupply spaceship, designed, built, by ESA and the European industry, launched from Kourou on board an Ariane 5 rocket. And that was the most, the most impressive automatic spaceship ever made.
Because it is more than 20 tonnes, about ten metres long, almost five metres diameter with a docking automatic capability of better than one centimetre precision. So, Europe can be very proud of its performance with the ISS and this spaceship. I was also involved indirectly with the astronauts working on board the ISS. I was a member of the jury who selected the second group of European astronauts in 2009. I was named the coach of the new group then, for one year, and I was very pleased to be able to transfer my own spaceflight experience to the new guys and girls, who did really perform very very well in space, and they are almost all done now, or doing their second spaceflight, which means they are excellent astronauts. As an astronaut, contributing to exploration of space, contributing to the increasing of knowledge, by discoveries we do on board the ISS, on the human body, on various, you know, physical or chemical or biological research, is very rewarding because we, we sense that we contribute to make humankind wiser.
The more we know, the more we have increased our knowledge, the more we become wise and when we become wise, we get better together, we learn to work together and do bigger things. And that’s why I hope, in the next 10, 20 years, we will altogether again fly in space, to go further. To go to the Moon, on the Gateway first, maybe on the surface of the Moon next, and maybe in the 30s, 40s, we go together to Mars. And as we go further and further, maybe we will answer this fantastic question: Is there life, or has there been life out there somewhere else, besides Earth? This is a question I'd like to have the beginning of the beginning of an answer to before I leave Earth forever. Thank you for your attention, and hopefully I will see you soon, and keep talking about space, space exploration, exploration in general.
And I’d like to finish with Captain Kirk saying: “Our mission to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life, new civilisations, to boldly go where no one has gone before”. This is literally what we do in the major space agencies altogether. This is literally what ESA, European Space Agency, does. And we do this for pacific reasons, and to increase knowledge, to make humankind wiser, safer, and more inclined to work together. Thank you.
Hello, my name Is Michel Tognini. I am a French astronaut. I am a former fighter pilot, from the French airforce, and a test pilot. And in my first space mission on the Mir space Station in 1992, and my second space mission was on the Space Shuttle Columbia, in 1999. My favourite memory when I was on the Mir space station was actually when I was on the Soyuz spacecraft, before docking on the Space Station, and we were about 20 kilometres away from the Space Station. And I saw the Space Station on the right side, from my window.
We were at the terminator, so everything there is gold light, and I saw the Space Station floating in the sky, or in the space, and it was gold colours, so I had this very strong memory for all my life. On my second space mission, we had to deploy a space telescope, called Chandra. This telescope is able to take the X-ray images from the black holes, neutron stars, or quasars, and one of my best memories was: When we deployed this telescope, it was a huge telescope, taking all the payload bay from the Space Shuttle, and the telescope was flying over the Space Shuttle, and it was a very nice image and a fascinating image. Looking at the Earth from space, is a very privileged moment, and I feel lucky to have been able to look at this view, which is really unique.
What was very surprising when you look at the Earth, is to see the small layer of atmosphere around the Earth. This is very small, like 100 kilometres. We fly above, at 400 kilometres, so you look at the Earth with a small contour. This atmosphere looks like a spacesuit of Earth, and it looks like the Earth is fragile, or let’s say that life on the Earth is fragile.
When you fly in space you feel responsible to do everything you can, in order to protect the life on Earth. My time as an ESA astronaut was mainly my time when I was at the European astronaut centre. At the beginning, as head of the Astronaut Division. Then as the head of the Astronaut Centre. And that was the time where we first started this big cooperation with all the five partners of the Space Station. And also where we started this big selection of astronauts, of European astronauts that we have today.
And six new astronauts are corresponding to what we decided in order to have these good candidates to fly on the Space Station. And indeed, they did good space missions, so I am proud of the job we made all together at EAC, during my time at ESA. I am very glad to see that the space cooperation is doing very well, between the ESA and the five partners, and my hope for the next 20 years is to see this cooperation continuing for the mission to the Moon, around the Moon, or on the Moon, And my hope also for the next 20 years is to increase this cooperation in order to have not only five partners, but seven partners. Which is the five of today, including China and India, in order to fly to Mars.
I think, and I believe, that the only way to fly to Mars is to have this job shared between all the partners on Earth, in order to increase safety and to reduce the price. Hello, my name is Reinhold Ewald. As a European Astronaut, I had the chance to fly to the Mir space station, back in 1997. With that experience, I joined the teams on the ground, preparing for the International Space Station. We were all set, when in February 2008, Columbus lifted into orbit. And now Columbus is an integral part of the International Space Station.
Good luck! To all the astronauts, to the teams on the ground, good journey, and have a safe landing, always.