Wednesday, 26 February 2014

At ESA's EAC: The Neutral Buoyancy Facility

Our trip to Cologne was all about visiting the European Space Agency's European Astronaut Centre, which is located on the base of the DLR, the German Space Agency. We got bussed in every day, and sat through tons and tons of lectures and tours around the facilities. On one of the first few days, we got to visit
the Neutral Buoyancy facility, which is one of the cooler places in the building. It allows astronauts to train inside a space suit and practice making sorties outside of the International Space Station. Because the European Space Agency has a dedicated lab
up on the space station, the Columbus module, they are also in charge of training all the astronauts a) how to use the module, which they do in their training hall and b) how to do maintenence on it. They also are in charge of a kind of "pre" training for extra vehicular activities - EVAs, before all the astronauts head to Houston. We got to visit and hear lots about it while we were there!

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