Salon HUMAN SPACE by Frank and Lena DE WINNE

Frank and Lena DE WINNE shared with us their experience in the Space Exploration Sphere from a European point of view and have discussed with us on the concept of Asgardia – the Space Nation.


Frank De Winne is a Belgian Air Component officer and an ESA astronaut.

In January 2000, Frank joined ESA’s Astronaut Corps based at the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany. He provided technical support for the X38 Crew Return Vehicle project, located at ESA’s research and technology centre, ESTEC, in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.

From 27 May to 1 December 2009 Frank was sent on the OasISS mission, a long-duration flight (6 months) to the International Space Station. As part of Expedition 21 Frank became the first European commander of the orbital outpost. He was also Soyuz TMA-15 and Expedition 20 flight engineer. Frank De Winne is Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF Belgium. Current assignment: Head of the European Astronaut Centre since 1 August 2012.

More info on European Space Agency –

Lena De Winne. Born and educated in Moscow Lena accomplished Masters Degree in Engineering from Moscow Power Engineering University. In 1993, Lena started working in support of the European flights to the Russian Mir station and eventually transferred to the area of human space flight promotion in the International Space Station Program. During these years she met Frank De Winne, a former military pilot and now a European astronaut from Belgium, who became her husband. Their life on the road in preparation to his half-year-long flight to space in 2009 as the first European commander of the International Space Station, Lena’s experience of a « wife of an astronaut in flight » combined with over fifteen years of work experience gave her a unique perspective for sharing this story.

Today Lena is Director at AIRC – Aerospace International Research Center – and Asgardia – the Space Nation.

For more info on AIRC and ROOM (The Space Journal):

asgardiaFor more info on Asgardia:




  • What is the role of Space exploration in today’s world? by Lena


  • UAE on Mars in 2020, is it realistic ? by Frank


  • Putting money in Space is an investment not a Cost by Frank


  • Communication with Space… (I have never said I am busy I call you Back) by Lena


  • Astronauts are not scientists we are Operators by Frank


  • How much Water do we use for hygiene purposes on Earth and in Space ? by Frank


  • The concept of Asgardia by Lena



Blood-is-a-powerfull-Matter – Portrait of Frank and Lena DE WINNE –

(sculpture cosmique en mosaique de verre miroir, Bismarck, Spectrum taillé main, huile Noir d’ivoire, Cadmium Yellow pale, Rouge Pyrollo BLOCKX et acrylique Rouge de Saturne 640 SENNELIER, Pigment Pur Bleu Outremer foncé 315  SENNELIER sur Europa Moon, fils de cuivre et d’acier, l’oeil d’Asgardia, Soyuz mission 21)                             by CharLes © 2016

on Meat Loaf Paradise by the dashboard light 



 » I can’t tell you enough how passionate I am about a unified Europe, its common future and shared vision. The only way anyone can win, no matter what area of life you’re talking about, is if there is a joint will to look for a win-win-win solution.

I am proud that my years and years of training have earned me the right to represent the collective achievement of all the people who made it possible. It’s a functional part of my Job to symbolize this collective achievement. My Job is important. But my Life is about people who are important to me. My Life is bigger than my Job.

We take the closing tour – The Bus ride to The Rocket. I leave it to Roman to tell the story about the traditional movie that was played for us on The Bus. It featured his five-year old daughter Nastya, dressed in an old cosmonaut launch suit (I think it was his father’s launch suit!), telling us a little poem that actually made me look away and pretend that I wasn’t reacting emotionally to it.

The Rocket. At this point Lena would say that you need to develop an inner harmonious relationship with an object upon which you rely. She insisted that The Rocket, The Station, The Vehicle and so on are all written with capital initial letters in this book (or The Book I should say). In this way you show respect and appreciation to the energy and the forces you are working with. I find this sweet but I have no idea what she means. I just know that I know how The Vehicle works and therefore I know how to make it fly.`

We decide as a crew not to use window shades. These shades are provided in order to avoid visibility through the side windows after the fairing is jettisoned. When you just sit on the capsule, you have no way to look outside. But a few minutes into the flight, after you leave the atmosphere, the capsule window offers free view of the surroundings. The problem is that you are sitting there well below the window level and the g-forces keep you down. You can’t move, except for slightly turning your head. This is when a mirror on the sleeve of your launch suit comes very handy. By minimal manipulation of the position of your sleeve, I could find a reflection of the view behind me. The black of space and the blue of the Earth. As simple as that. »

Extrait My Countdown – The story behind my husband’s spaceflight by Lena De Winne



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