Next German astronaut goes on the ISS


Matthias Maurer completed his basic training as an astronaut in 2018. He is due to work on the International Space Station next year. He trains underwater for use in weightlessness.

In 2021, the Saarland astronaut Matthias Maurer will fly to the international space station ISS. His journey is scheduled to start in Cape Canaveral (USA).

Maurer is currently training under corona precautions in Houston (USA), the European space agency Esa said on Wednesday. A video of the organization published on the Internet shows how the 50-year-old practices in a giant water basin in a replica of the space station.

In the video, the astronaut explains that an effort in the zero gravity of space can best be trained under water. In a spacesuit, he is hoisted into the pool with a crane. Together with the suit, it easily weighs 200 kilograms, says Maurer. “Far too much to jump into the water without help.” In the ISS replica, for example, he practices replacing a defective pump with a new one.

It is not yet certain when exactly the Saarlander, born in St. Wendel, can use his knowledge in space. In spring, according to Esa, the Frenchman Thomas Pesquet will start off to the ISS space station and, according to Esa, will be the first European to fly a “Dragon” spacecraft from the private space company SpaceX. Should Pesquet fail, Maurer would fly as a replacement in the spring. If he takes off on schedule, Maurer should take off on another as yet unknown date in 2021.

Also unclear are the mission name, the mission logo and who Mason will work with on the space station. That will be announced, said the European Astronaut Center, which is an Esa facility.

“In addition to often hundreds of scientific experiments and technology demonstrations during the mission, sport is on the program every day,” said the Astronaut Center. The astronauts would have to stay fit and counteract the creeping adaptation to weightlessness. Other tasks include, for example, maintenance work and public relations work in order to let the population participate.

Image source:

  • Dragon_start2019-12: © NASA TV

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