How Many People Does It Take To Screw In An Astronaut?
How many people does it take to put an astronaut in space?
For each mission, medics, psychologists and engineers all work behind the scenes to send astronauts safely into orbit and bring them home
Collectively, it took thousands of people to send astronaut Tim Peake to the International Space Station. Photograph: Dmitry Lovetsky/AP
by Tom Lyons / Teacher fellow at ESERO-UK, the European Space Education Resource Office
Thursday 19 May 2016
Astronauts are the pop stars of science and technology. From a launch site in icy Kazakhstan, they are hurtled into space inside tiny Soyuz capsule, aimed at the remote moving target that is the International Space Station (ISS). There, they will undertake scientific research and become guinea pigs for medical experiments. So it’s no surprise that their exciting jobs hog the media spotlight.
But behind every astronaut is a team of dedicated professionals making sure everything runs smoothly. From workers training the astronaut before a mission, to those monitoring their medical health – there are hundreds of professionals involved in getting one person safely into (and back from) space.
#OTD 10 April 2008, #ESA announces recruitment campaign for new class of astronauts, its 1st since the last selection of 1992 & the creation of the European Astronaut Corps in 1998
Human spaceflight became a reality on 12 April 1961 when Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was launched in the Vostok 1 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. This was followed 23 days later by the launch of Alan Shepard as the first American in space in a Mercury spacecraft from Cape Canaveral (close to the Kennedy Space Center where the Space Shuttle is launched).
It was 17 years later in 1978 that Europe created its own human spaceflight history when Sigmund Jähn from Germany (former GDR) became the first European in space* being launched on the Soyuz 31 spacecraft to the Salyut 6 space station.
European astronauts have helped to shape the face of some of the most important human spaceflight missions in the past and will continue to shape the face of human spaceflight in the future.
ESA started its first astronaut selection in 1977-1978. This came from the 1973 agreement that ESA had with NASA to supply the first Spacelab reusable science laboratory, which was carried in the Shuttle’s cargo bay, in exchange for flight opportunities for European astronauts.
From this selection campaign ESA chose its first astronauts: Claude Nicollier from Switzerland, Wubbo Ockels from the Netherlands and Ulf Merbold from Germany.
It was Merbold who had the honour of being the first ESA and European to undertake a mission on the Space Shuttle (STS-9) on the 10-day Spacelab-1 mission between 28 November 1983 and 8 December 1983. Not only was this the first spaceflight of an ESA astronaut, it was the first flight of the European-built Spacelab and the first flight of a non-American on the Shuttle.
During the 1980’s while ESA astronauts were undertaking Shuttle/Spacelab missions several other European countries, also Member States of ESA, started a recruitment of astronauts on a national basis. Many of those nationally selected and recruited astronauts flew on Russian Soyuz missions to the Mir Space Station or on American Space Shuttle missions as so-called Payload Specialists. A peak was reached in 1991, when 19 European astronauts being members of the several national astronaut corps with 2 astronauts in the ESA corps.
ANNOUNCEMENT OF OPPORTUNITY TO FLY PAYLOADS TO SPACE ON ESA'S SPACE RIDER
10 April 2018
ESA’s Space Rider aims to provide Europe with an affordable, independent, reusable end-to-end space transportation system integrated with Vega-C, for routine access and return from low Earth orbit.
Space Rider will debut in 2021 to provide a laboratory in space for an array of applications, orbit altitudes and inclinations. ESA has released a dedicated Announcement of Opportunity with no restriction on nationality for commercial or institutional customers.
A multi-purpose cargo bay equipped with standardised but customisable interfaces for the payloads offers a high-tech platform for experiments in space on missions expected to last up to two months or longer if needed.
Customers assisted by the Space Rider telemetry and command services will be able to upload and download commands and data at each orbital pass.
On completion of the missions, Space Rider will return to Earth with the payloads stowed in its cargo bay to land on ground in European territory. The vehicle will be reusable following refurbishment after each flight.
Among the multiple exploitation capabilities and potentials, the Space Rider missions will allow:
*free-flying applications such as experiments in microgravity; in-orbit technology demonstration and validation for applications for: *exploration, including robotics, *Earth observation, including instrumentation, *Earth science, and telecommunication, *surveillance applications such as Earth disaster monitoring, satellites inspection.
spotless38: Iam back after a long break . What a couple of years I had . After what had happened I lost my brother and had to bury him and then I had caught that type A flue and I was a very sick puppy I also needed blood for the loss of it .
Jul 7, 2018 13:30:41 GMT -6
lois: Very Happy to see you Ron. Missed you. Glad you are doing better now. Sorry for your lost. I did not know your brother had passed. hugs lois
Jul 10, 2018 0:52:45 GMT -6
paulette: Ron - hope you've hit a quiet spot. Sorry for your loss.
Aug 3, 2018 10:49:30 GMT -6
lois: I picked up my phone a few days ago and I looked at the name of the caller. Boy was I surprise. It has been a couple of years. So good to hear your voice Ron. Hope you make it a habit again. love and hugs .
Aug 15, 2018 23:21:38 GMT -6
leia77: Spotless, I am glad that you are feeling better and welcome back! I too am back from a long time away...
Aug 31, 2018 2:08:32 GMT -6
jcurio: I am much relieved to see that you have been on here, Spotless! I hope that things are going much better for you now
Sept 19, 2018 16:46:42 GMT -6
jcurio: And Lois, And Lorelei!
Sept 19, 2018 16:47:07 GMT -6
casper: And Meeeeeee!!
Oct 16, 2018 18:41:31 GMT -6
lois: Sorry guys I cannot see the print. On is tiny hand computer
Oct 21, 2018 20:42:09 GMT -6
lois: Casper your page stops at page five in 2016
Nov 15, 2018 23:54:01 GMT -6
lois: How did your Halloween night go this year?
Nov 15, 2018 23:54:58 GMT -6
skywalker: He posted on the Halloween thread this year.
Nov 25, 2018 18:33:36 GMT -6
lois: Oh ok Sky I will check it out. Thanks.
Dec 21, 2018 21:45:31 GMT -6
lois: What topic was it under.
Dec 21, 2018 21:51:07 GMT -6