Thanks to an initiative of the City of Liège, a member of the Community of Ariane Cities (CVA), students at the Athénée Léonie de Waha secondary school were given the opportunity to visit ESA’s European Astronaut Centre (EAC) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Cologne in November 2018.

After a presentation of the EAC’s overall mission, the students were able to see for themselves a training replica of the European Columbus module of the International Space Station (ISS) as well as the near-weightlessness-simulating neutral buoyancy pool used for underwater astronaut training.

During their visit to the DLR they were given explanations of the weightlessness on board the ISS, the history of the Rosetta space probe and its lander module Philae as well as of other space missions.

When it came to the group photo, the students would be in for a pleasant surprise: they were joined by ESA astronaut Frank De Winne of Belgium, Head of the EAC, who was Commander of the ISS in 2009.

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