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On 27 May 2009, ESA astronaut Frank De Winne launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome on the Soyuz TMA-15 spacecraft. Two days later, on 29 May 2009, the Soyuz TMA-15 docked with the International Space Station starting De Winne's six-month OasISS mission. De Winne is a member of the first six-person ISS Expedition crew. Later in his mission he will also be the first European to become the ISS Commander. For De Winne, who is a member of the European Astronaut Corps, this is his second mission to the Station on behalf of ESA, following on from the 11-day Odissea mission in 2002. The mission marks many important milestones for ESA, European astronauts, European science and European control centres, as well as holding a great deal of significance for ESA in cooperation with its international partners. Not only are these milestones of great importance in fulfilling the goals of the mission, they also hold great significance by building on current knowledge and experience for future exploration missions.