Encyclopedia Astronautica
ISS Astrolab


Europe's first long-duration mission to the ISS. Crew: Reiter.Thomas Reiter lived and worked on board the ISS for five months. Backup crew: Eyharts.

The Astrolab Mission was Europe's first long-duration mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Thomas Reiter lived and worked on board the ISS for five months.

French ESA astronaut Leopold Eyharts was the back-up astronaut for the mission. The mission was covered by an agreement between ESA and the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), which covered Reiter's flight in a shuttle crew position originally planned for a Russian cosmonaut.

During the mission, Reiter became the first ESA astronaut to serve on an ISS Expedition crew, supporting both EO-13 and EO-14 crews in the running and maintenance of the station; the first ESA astronaut to undertake a spacewalk from the ISS; conducted the first long-duration European experiment program on the ISS; and commissioned three ESA-developed experimental facilities delivered aboard STS-121.

The Astrolab experiments came from scientific institutions across Europe, and included experiments in human physiology, biology, physics and radiation dosimetry. These included operation of the Minus 80 degrees Laboratory Freezer for the ISS (MELFI); the European Modular Cultivation System (EMCS); and the Percutaneous Electrical Muscle Stimulator (PEMS).

Reiter's arrival at the ISS marked the return to three-member long-duration ISS crews, which had been reduced to two following the Columbia Space Shuttle accident in February 2003. Reiter's activities were coordinated for the first time from the Columbus Control Centre in Oberpfaffenhofen, near Munich.

First Launch: 2006.07.04.
Last Launch: 2006.12.22.
Duration: 171.16 days.

More... - Chronology...


Associated People
  • Eyharts Eyharts, Leopold (1957-) French test pilot cosmonaut, mission specialist astronaut. Flew on Mir Pegase, ISS EO-16-2. More...
  • Reiter Reiter, Thomas Arthur (1958-) German test pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EO-20, ISS Astrolab. More...

See also
Associated Flights
  • STS-121 Crew: Lindsey, Kelly Mark, Fossum, Nowak, Wilson, Sellers. ISS logistics flight. Delivered equpment and supplies aboard the Leonardo cargo module. More...
  • STS-116 Crew: Polansky, Oefelein, Curbeam, Patrick, Fuglesang, Higginbotham. First Swedish astronaut. Most demanding ISS assembly mission to date. Completed installation of the P5 truss, retracted the recalcitrant port P6 solar array wing, and activated the truss electrical and cooling system. More...

Associated Programs
  • ISS Finally completed in 2010 after a torturous 25-year development and production process, the International Space Station was originally conceived as the staging post for manned exploration of the solar systrem. Instead, it was seemed to be the death knell of manned spaceflight. More...

ISS Astrolab Chronology


2006 April 7 - .
2006 April 14 - .
2006 April 21 - .
  • International Space Station Status Report: SS06-018 - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Vinogradov; Williams, Jeffrey; Reiter. Program: ISS. Flight: ISS EO-13; STS-121; ISS Astrolab. Summary: The Expedition 13 crew this week focused on experiments, maintenance and preparations for the arrival of two and a half tons of food, supplies and equipment.. Additional Details: here....

2006 June 23 - .
  • International Space Station Status Report: SS06-030 - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Vinogradov; Williams, Jeffrey; Reiter. Program: ISS. Flight: ISS EO-13; STS-121; ISS Astrolab. Summary: New supplies arrived at the International Space Station Monday as an unpiloted Russian cargo spacecraft linked up to the station's Pirs Docking Compartment.. Additional Details: here....

2006 June 26 - .
2006 June 30 - .
2006 July 4 - .
2006 July 4 - . 18:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-121.
  • STS-121 - . Call Sign: Discovery. Crew: Lindsey; Kelly, Mark; Fossum; Nowak; Wilson; Sellers; Reiter. Return Crew: Lindsey; Kelly, Mark; Fossum; Nowak; Wilson; Sellers. Payload: Discovery F32 / Leonardo. Mass: 121,094 kg (266,966 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Lindsey; Kelly, Mark; Fossum; Nowak; Wilson; Sellers; Reiter. Agency: NASA. Manufacturer: Boeing. Program: ISS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-121; ISS EO-13; ISS Astrolab. Spacecraft: Discovery. Duration: 12.78 days. Decay Date: 2006-07-17 . USAF Sat Cat: 29251 . COSPAR: 2006-028A. Apogee: 351 km (218 mi). Perigee: 332 km (206 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 91.40 min. The shuttle was launched using external tank ET-119 and solid motors RSRM-93. Cameras revealed that large chunks of foam were still shed from the external tank during the ascent to orbit. However examination of the heat shield using a new extension and sensors attached to the shuttle's robot arm revealed no significant damage. Discovery docked with the PMA-2 adapter on the Destiny module of the ISS at 14:52 GMT on 6 July. On July 7 the Leonardo cargo module was moved from the shuttle payload bay by the robot arm and docked to the Unity Module of the ISS between 09:42 and 11:50 GMT. The crew then began unloading the spare parts and supplies in the module to the station. A series of three EVAs conducted on 8 to 12 July tested the new equipment and techniques for repairing the shuttle heat shield in case of damage, and did some preliminary installations on the exterior of the ISS to pave the way for continued station assembly missions. On 14 July, the station's SSRMS robot moved the Leonardo module from the station back to the shuttle cargo bay between 13:08 and 14:50 GMT. The shuttle separated from the ISS, and fired its engines at 12:07 GMT on 17 July to make a 92 m/s deorbit maneuver. Discovery landed at the Kennedy Space Center at 13:14 GMT. European astronaut Reiter was left behind to make up part of the EO-13 resident crew on the station.

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  • STS-121 MCC Status Report #26 - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Reiter; Lindsey; Kelly, Mark; Fossum; Nowak; Wilson; Sellers. Program: ISS. Flight: STS-121; ISS EO-13; ISS Astrolab. Summary: A smooth landing by the Space Shuttle Discovery at the Kennedy Space Center this morning completed the second return to flight test mission and set the stage to resume assembly of the International Space Station later this summer.. Additional Details: here....

2006 July 22 - .
2006 July 28 - .
2006 August 4 - .
  • International Space Station Status Report: SS06-036 - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Vinogradov; Williams, Jeffrey; Reiter. Program: ISS. Flight: ISS EO-13; ISS Astrolab. Summary: Space station crewmen Jeff Williams and Thomas Reiter worked quickly through scheduled spacewalk tasks Thursday, then completed three get-ahead jobs, or extra tasks, and were ready for more.. Additional Details: here....

2006 August 11 - .
  • International Space Station Status Report: SS06-037 - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Vinogradov; Williams, Jeffrey; Reiter. Program: ISS. Flight: ISS EO-13; STS-115; ISS Astrolab. Summary: This week on the International Space Station crew members refurbished their exercise treadmill, prepared areas inside and out for an imminent expansion of their home and took a couple of special calls to discuss soccer and food in space.. Additional Details: here....

2006 August 18 - .
  • International Space Station Status Report: SS06-038 - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Vinogradov; Williams, Jeffrey; Reiter. Program: ISS. Flight: ISS EO-13; ISS Astrolab. Summary: The astronauts aboard the International Space Station spent much of their week preparing for the arrival of the Space Shuttle Atlantis, set for launch Aug. 27 on the STS-115 mission.. Additional Details: here....

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2006 October 6 - .
  • International Space Station Status Report: SS06-043 - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Reiter; Tyurin; Lopez-Alegria. Program: ISS. Flight: ISS EO-14; ISS Astrolab. Summary: Expedition 14 completed its first full week solo on the International Space Station performing standard early mission checks, drills and some equipment troubleshooting.. Additional Details: here....

2006 October 13 - .
  • International Space Station Status Report: SS06-044 - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Williams, Jeffrey; Reiter; Tyurin; Lopez-Alegria. Program: ISS. Flight: ISS EO-14; ISS EO-13; ISS Astrolab. Summary: The International Space Station's Expedition 14 crew went for a short ride this week, performed maintenance and experiments aboard the growing outpost and celebrated one crew member's 100th day in space.. Additional Details: here....

2006 October 20 - .
  • International Space Station Status Report: SS06-045 - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Reiter; Tyurin; Lopez-Alegria. Program: ISS. Flight: ISS EO-14; ISS Astrolab. Summary: The three residents of the International Space Station spent a busy week with varied science and technical tasks as they began their second month in orbit.. Additional Details: here....

2006 October 24 - .
  • International Space Station Status Report: SS06-046 - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Reiter; Tyurin; Lopez-Alegria. Program: ISS. Flight: ISS EO-14; ISS Astrolab. Summary: A shipment of supplies began its journey to the International Space Station Monday as the ISS Progress 23 cargo ship was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.. Additional Details: here....

2006 October 27 - .
  • International Space Station Status Report: SS06-047 - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Reiter; Tyurin; Lopez-Alegria. Program: ISS. Flight: ISS EO-14; ISS Astrolab. Summary: New supplies arrived at the International Space Station Thursday as an unpiloted Russian cargo spacecraft docked to the aft port of the Zvezda Service Module.. Additional Details: here....

2006 November 3 - .
  • International Space Station Status Report: SS06-048 - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Reiter; Tyurin; Lopez-Alegria. Program: ISS. Flight: ISS EO-14; ISS Astrolab. Summary: Repair of an oxygen generator, robotic arm operations and cargo unpacking were the top priorities aboard the International Space Station this week.. Additional Details: here....

2006 November 10 - .
  • International Space Station Status Report: SS06-049 - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Williams; Reiter; Tyurin; Lopez-Alegria. Program: ISS. Flight: ISS EO-14; ISS EO-13; ISS Astrolab. Summary: The International Space Station crewmembers spent this week getting ready for an upcoming spacewalk, performing scientific research and voting in the U.S. elections back on Earth.. Additional Details: here....

2006 November 17 - .
  • International Space Station Status Report: SS06-050 - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Reiter; Tyurin; Lopez-Alegria. Program: ISS. Flight: ISS EO-14; ISS Astrolab. Summary: Expedition 14 Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria and flight engineers Mikhail Tyurin and Thomas Reiter continue to prepare for a spacewalk Wednesday, Nov. 22, out of the International Space Station's Russian Pirs Docking Compartment airlock.. Additional Details: here....

2006 November 23 - .
  • International Space Station Status Report: SS06-051 - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Reiter; Tyurin; Lopez-Alegria. Program: ISS. Flight: ISS EO-14; ISS Astrolab. Summary: Two residents of the International Space Station ventured outside the complex Wednesday for a 5 hour, 38 minute spacewalk to reposition, deploy and relocate equipment, and to take a swing at a commercially sponsored activity.. Additional Details: here....

2006 December 1 - .
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2006 December 10 - .
2006 December 10 - . 01:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-116.
  • STS-116 - . Call Sign: Discovery. Crew: Polansky; Oefelein; Curbeam; Patrick; Fuglesang; Higginbotham; Williams. Return Crew: Polansky; Oefelein; Curbeam; Patrick; Fuglesang; Higginbotham; Reiter. Payload: Discovery F32 / P5. Mass: 120,420 kg (265,480 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Williams; Polansky; Oefelein; Curbeam; Patrick; Fuglesang; Higginbotham; Reiter. Agency: NASA. Manufacturer: Boeing. Program: ISS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-116; ISS EO-14; ISS Astrolab. Spacecraft: Discovery. Duration: 12.86 days. Decay Date: 2006-12-10 . USAF Sat Cat: 29647 . COSPAR: 2006-055A. Apogee: 358 km (222 mi). Perigee: 326 km (202 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 91.40 min. The mission used solid rocket booster pair RSRM-95 and external tank ET-123. At SSME burnout Discovery was in a 58 km x 220 km x 51.6 deg preliminary burn. The OMS-2 burn at 02:25 GMT placed the shuttle in a stable 225 x 250 km orbit from which rendezvous maneuvers began. Discovery docked with the ISS at 22:12 GMT on December 11. In the most demanding ISS assembly mission ever, the crew would require an additional spacewalk to complete installation of the P5 truss, retraction of the recalcitrant port P6 solar array wing, and activation of the truss electrical and cooling system. Sunita Williams rode the shuttle to the station, and remained behind with the EO-14 crew; ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter, already aboard the station, was returned to earth. Due to weather problems a landing at White Sands was considered; but in the end Discovery landed safely at Kennedy Space Center, after which it was to enter a year-long overhaul cycle.

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