© 2016

In the Footsteps of Columbus

European Missions to the International Space Station


Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)

Also part of the Space Exploration book sub series (SPACEE)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxi
  2. Background

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. John O’Sullivan
      Pages 2-10
    3. John O’Sullivan
      Pages 11-18
  3. Missions

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 19-19
    2. John O’Sullivan
      Pages 20-35
    3. John O’Sullivan
      Pages 36-54
    4. John O’Sullivan
      Pages 55-67
    5. John O’Sullivan
      Pages 68-80
    6. John O’Sullivan
      Pages 81-101
    7. John O’Sullivan
      Pages 102-121
    8. John O’Sullivan
      Pages 122-153
    9. John O’Sullivan
      Pages 154-169
    10. John O’Sullivan
      Pages 170-203
    11. John O’Sullivan
      Pages 204-224
    12. John O’Sullivan
      Pages 225-238
    13. John O’Sullivan
      Pages 239-267
    14. John O’Sullivan
      Pages 268-275
    15. John O’Sullivan
      Pages 276-295
    16. John O’Sullivan
      Pages 296-305

About this book


The European Space Agency has a long history of cooperating with NASA in human spaceflight, having developed the Spacelab module for carrying in the payload bay of the Space Shuttle. This book tells of the development of ESA’s Columbus microgravity science laboratory of the International Space Station and the European astronauts who work in it. From the beginning, ESA has been in close collaboration on the ISS, making a significant contribution to the station hardware. Special focus is given to Columbus and Copula as well as station resupply using the ATV. Each mission is also examined individually, creating a comprehensive picture of ESA's crucial involvement over the years. Extensive use of color photographs from NASA and ESA to depict the experiments carried out, the phases of the ISS construction, and the personal stories of the astronauts in space highlights the crucial European work on human spaceflight.


ESA ISS Involvement European Astronauts European ISS Contribution European ISS Experiments European Spaceflight History of ESA Spaceflight History of ISS ISS Hardware ISS Missions NASA ESA Cooperation

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.County CorkIreland

About the authors

John O’Sullivan BE, Dip Phys Sci, Dip PM, CEng MIEI, PMP, FSP, CMSE® studied Electrical Engineering at University College Cork. He has over 20 years’ experience in the automation and control sector delivering solutions to the life-science industry in Ireland. He is a Chartered Engineer with Engineers Ireland, a Project Management Professional with the Project Management Institute and a certified Functional Safety Professional. He has always had a fascination with aviation and space, leading him to gain his PPL in 2003 and to study Astronomy and Planetary Science with the Open University. Since 2010 he has been awarded a Certificate in Astronomy and Planetary Science and a Diploma in Physical Science by the OU, as well as a Diploma in Project Management from the Cork Institute of Technology. 

He lives in East Cork with his wife and daughter.

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Energy, Utilities & Environment
Oil, Gas & Geosciences


“Each chapter contains a biography of the astronaut, the specific activities of the mission, and beautiful color photographs of the crew member and mission patches, and ends with a description of the current status of the astronaut. Though the book will interest space enthusiasts, it is essentially a catalog and time line of activities that are readily available in other sources. Summing Up: Recommended. All readers.” (J. Z. Kiss, Choice, Vol. 54 (4), December, 2016)

“In the Footsteps of Columbus will give you an overview rich in technical details about Europe’s role in the ISS … . best suited for future historians who will find it a useful reference as they dig deeper in the why and how, and not just the who and when, of Europe’s place in space.” (Jeff Foust, The Space Review, August, 2016) 

“European human spaceflight is the topic of this fine book and encyclopedia. … This book should belong to the library (or notebook) of every space-enthusiast, space engineer or layman interested in European space exploration. It should be within easy reach to be consulted as often as possible - you always glean something new.” (Joachim J. Kehr, Journal of Space Operations & Communicator, Vol. 13 (4), 2016)