Editor’s note:These brief extracts are paraphrased from live webcast and may not be fully correct.

Former astronaut Thomas Reiter is currently ESA’s Director of Human Spaceflight and Operations.

Download the presentation slides: Thomas Reiter: “A world without gravity”.

A world without gravity: why do we need microgravity?

We need to understand in full the mechanisms governing our life.

European research programme on ISS is based on the ELIPS programme. ESA will further develop facilities on the ISS to deal with demand. Emphasis of research is on human physiology. As the the Columbus laboratory has been in full operation for a few years and many years to come it makes sense to focus on science now.

Research activities on the ISS covers many areas: medicine, biology, materials, climate change, earth observation, education