German Aerospace Center
The European Astronaut Centre ( EAC) is the main astronaut training facility of the European Space Agency. It is located on the grounds of the German Aerospace Centre in Cologne-Lind.
At the EAC, among other things, the European astronaut corps are trained for space missions, mainly to the International Space Station.
In 1990, the ESA Ministerial Council decided that the EU needed its own astronaut corps and a separate manned space flight. However, following deliberations, Europe (or the ESA) decided not to develop a separate launch system, but instead to work in conjunction with the Russian Sojus spaceships or future US programmes for manned space flight.
Within the framework of the ISS program, the EAC trains not only European but also Russian, American, Canadian and Japanese astronauts. The contract for operating the station is designed so that the astronauts involved in the project can train on all the training facilities. The most important programmes include training for the ATV supply missions and the European space laboratory Columbus.