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: research in space ESA Explores

ESA research and payloads programme coordinator coordinator Jennifer Ngo-Anh shares how she found her way to space as we delve into human research on the International Space Station and the challenges facing our astronauts on long-duration missions.  This is episode three in our astronaut selection series in which we explore what it takes to be an ESA astronaut as well as some of the other roles available at ESA. ESA is accepting applications for its 2021-22 astronaut selection from 31 March to 28 May 2021. Find out more and make #YourWayToSpace at  Thank you to Stephen Ennis for editing this episode. 
  1. ESA Explores: research in space
  2. ESA Explores: becoming an astronaut
  3. ESA Explores: space careers
  4. Time and Space: launching Columbus to orbit
  5. Time and Space: entering the ISS era

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

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.

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