The latest episode of ESA Explores podcast series ‘Time and Space’ series is out now, with a focus on the launch of Europe’s Columbus laboratory.

Columbus is ESA’s science and research laboratory on the International Space Station. It is ESA’s largest single contribution to the orbital outpost and was also the first permanent European research facility in space.

With 75 cubic metres of space and an entire suite of research equipment, plus external platforms to support experiments and applications in space science, Earth observation and technology, Columbus offers European scientists full access to a weightless environment that cannot be duplicated on Earth. 

ESA Explores: 100 days to launch with astronaut Matthias Maurer ESA Explores

ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer will soon be launched to the International Space Station for a six-month stay in orbit. In this podcast, he talks about his training, the differences he's found between the Russian and American spacesuits, the role of the new European Robotic Arm (ERA), whether he's packed, science and what he's most looking forward to during his Cosmic Kiss mission. Note: this episode was recorded just prior to the launch of Russia's new MLM module, which travelled to the Station on 21 July with ERA attached to its back. Matthias is scheduled to launch as a member of Crew-3 in a SpaceX Crew Dragon no earlier than 31 October 2021. 
  1. ESA Explores: 100 days to launch with astronaut Matthias Maurer
  2. ESA Explores: ERA for astronauts
  3. ESA Explores: a new arm for space
  4. ESA Explores: preparing for other planets
  5. ESA Explores: innovation for exploration

Frank De Winne during emergency evacuation training at Kennedy Space Center, Florida
Frank De Winne during emergency evacuation training at Kennedy Space Center, Florida

In this episode of the ESA Explores Time and Space series, hosts Stephen Ennis and Alison Koehler talk to two people who were there at a critical time in European spaceflight history. Former ESA ISS programme manager Bernardo Patti and ESA astronaut Frank De Winne share their experiences of the International Space Station before the research hub’s addition, Columbus’ launch on Space Shuttle Atlantis, the tragedy that preceded it, and what the science lab – along with Europe’s Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) programme enabled for Europeans in space to this day.

Do not forget, ESA is opening applications for its 2021-22 astronaut selection on 31 March 2021. For more on how you can help shape the future of space exploration visit the website esa.int/yourwaytospace

Episodes of the ESA Explores podcast are available on all major podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Soundcloud and Podbean. Simply search for ‘ESA Explores’ and subscribe to stay up to date.

-ESA also photo

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