Summer has been very busy for ESA astronauts with three of them training at Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas for future missions aboard the International Space Station.
Even though European astronauts Paolo Nespoli and Roberto Vittori of Italian nationality and André Kuipers from the Netherlands have all already visited the ISS, extensive training is always needed when going into space.
Paolo Nespoli is scheduled for six months aboard the ISS starting next December 2010. A mission of similar duration will be carried out by André Kuipers roughly a year later. Both astronauts will travel to the station in Russian Soyuz modules.
Roberto Vittori will be the last non-US astronaut to be carried to the ISS by a NASA Space Shuttle on a flight opportunity of the Italian Space Agency in 2011.