ESA’s European Astronaut Center hosting Orla Punch ISU MSS16 student


"I am currently carrying out a traineeship at the European Space Agency’s European Astronaut Centre (EAC) in Cologne for duration of six months.

The area I am working in is called SpaceShip EAC which is ran by Dr. Aidan Cowley, an EAC research fellow. This initiative was started in 2012 by Frank De Winne, Head of the European Astronaut Centre. SpaceShip EAC’s aim is to foster activities relevant to Lunar Exploration and in-situ resource utilization in order to prepare astronauts and technology for future Moon missions, and the team consists of multi-disciplinary backgrounds.

As an architect, the role I have on the team is based on the architecture of ESA’s Moon Village concept. I am working on the architectural design of a future habitat to be used as part of a Lunar analogue facility to be built here at EAC to further expand their simulation capabilities. This new facility will simulate operations on the Lunar surface with a 30 meter diameter dome consisting of Lunar regolith simulant. It will be used in training for Lunar surface exploration, as well as technology and operations development, and human factors development with an overall goal of enabling future human space flight, and a return to the Moon."