Ask the crew – Q&A Special10. May 2022
Science and Engineering10. May 2022
How to be an Astronaut? & What’s Up With Space Junk?
Join us for a double-header talk right from the “Bridge” of ESA – featuring two of the awesome flight controllers keeping Europe’s missions safe in space.
This first part of the talk will feature Andrea Boyd, who will share her perspective of human spaceflight keeping Europe’s astronauts safe in orbit. You’ll hear all about what it takes to become an astronaut and what life is like for a European astronaut, how we support their flights in space and what’s going on in the world of Human Spaceflight in Europe. Spoiler alert(!) – there’s a lot going on – ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer (German) has just returned from the International Space Station and Samantha Cristoforetti (Italian) has just arrived, and along with all of that we’re currently selecting our next class of astronauts including our first parastronaut.
The second part will feature Thomas Ormston, who doesn’t have people to look after in space but does have to keep the twin Sentinel-1 spacecraft safe while flying through an ever increasing pile of junk in low Earth orbit! The current environment in orbit continues to get worse with jumps in the number of objects from the recent anti-satellite weapon test and an explosion (thankfully not yet literally!) in the number of spacecraft being launched with the advent of megaconstellations. Thomas will talk about how we dodge this junk and keep our satellites safe, what the impact of doing that is and how we can all be better users of space, including what needs to be done to ensure a sustainable and usable environment in space for the future.
Lecturer: Andrea Boyd, Thomas OrmstonDuration: 60 min - The Lecture will be held in: english
Andrea Boyd works at ESA’s European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany as a Flight Controller for the International Space Station. She studied Mechatronic Engineering at The University of Adelaide and specialised in robotics in South Korea. She worked for many years in Automation and underground Mining in the remote desert then joined the International Space Station Flight Control Team eleven years ago, certified as a Flight Operations Engineer for payload control, biomedical and crew operations.
Andrea’s projects together with the ISS have included spacefood, augmented reality, medical diagnostics, underwater astronaut missions in (NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations) and supporting rocket launches and landings from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan and Cape Canaveral, USA.
Thomas Ormstron works at ESA’s European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt (ESOC), Germany as Deputy Spacecraft Operations Manager for the Sentinel-1 mission.
He graduated in 2005 from the University of Birmingham with an MSci Physics and Space Research. Thomas started his career at ESA on the Flight Control Team of Europe’s first Mars mission - Mars Express. On Mars Express Thomas was responsible for keeping the power, thermal and communications subsytems healthy, along with creation of the Mars Webcam project and was heavily involved in Mars Express support to the NASA JPL mars rovers.
Since 2012, Thomas has moved back home to Earth and has been flying Earth Observation missions for ESA, working first on the flying mission CryoSat-2 and helping prepare the EarthCARE mission for flight – both key missions to help us understand our planet and its climate. He has been in his current role since 2020 – managing the flight operations for ESA of the European Commission’s flagship Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission, which provides high quality free and open data about our planet for maritime and land monitoring, emergency response, climate change and security.