ESA astronauts visit CERN

An out-of-this world visit took place at CERN on 12 May


ESA astronauts visit CERN

The ESA astronauts at the AMS Payload Operations Control Centre (Image: Sophia Bennett/CERN)

A group of 13 astronauts* from the European Space Agency (ESA) paid a visit to CERN on 12 May 2017.  

Invited by Professor Claude Nicollier and Professor Samuel Ting, the group enjoyed a guided tour around CERN. One of the key points they visited was the Data Centre, where Helen Sharman, Claude Nicollier and Samantha Cristoforetti took part in a live broadcast. During the interview the three astronauts shared what it is like to be in the International Space Station (ISS) and answered the audience’s questions left in the comment section.

Next, the astronauts visited the Payload Operations Control Centre (POCC) of the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS-02). The AMS is a particle-physics detector assembled at CERN, that looks for dark matter, antimatter and missing matter from a module attached to the outside of the ISS.

On the same day the ISS had its milestone 200th spacewalk, during which a new connector was installed on the AMS to prepare it for a new cooling system next year. Find out more about this operation here.  

* Reinhold Ewald, Ernst Messerschmid, Dumitru Prunariu, Samantha Cristoforetti, Michel Tognini, Franz Viehboeck, Claude Nicollier, Ulf Merbold, Andy Turnage, Helen Sharman, Klaus-Dietrich Flade, Alaksandar Aleksandrov and Bertalan Farkas