Agencies logoWork with ESA since 1980 (from an academic base) involved the coordination of the scientific experiments for the European Vestibular Experiments team, as well as neuro-vestibular research in sensory perception, on the first Spacelab-1 (STS-9) mission and on the first German Spacelab (D1) mission (STS-61A). This work involved training the astronaut crew, carrying out baseline data collection before and after the missions, as well as supporting mission control during the mission (Dr Kass was in direct communication with the astronaut crew during these missions.)

Following this scientific work, expert support (from industrial bases) in the form of R&D studies and operational support was provided to ESA (in collaboration with other industrial partners) mainly in the domain of human spaceflight, in preparation for the launching of the Columbus module for the ISS as well as early R&D for the Hermes European space plane. This work involved collaboration across a number of research institutions and national space agencies across more than half a dozen countries in Europe. The ground-based research and preparation programme involved numerous parabolic flight campaigns as well as under-water neutral-buoyancy experimentation and simulation.

Based at the European Space Research & Technology Centre (ESTEC) of ESA, in Noordwijk, The Netherlands (as contractor from 2000), expert support was given in various directorates, including Human Spaceflight & Microgravity, Telecommunications & Integrated Applications, and Technical & Quality Management (Lessons Learned), as well as to special offices, such the office of the Inspector General, and an Inter-Directorate Task Force for the DG.

In addition to ESTEC, consultation work was carried out at/ with the European Astronaut Centre (EAC), Cologne, Germany, ESA’s Head Quarters, Paris, France, and European Space Operations Centre (ESOC), Darmstadt, Germany.