Volker Schmid heads the DLR team for Alexander Gerst's horizons mission. Schmid completed an apprenticeship as precision engineer. After working in industry for three years as a skilled metalworker in the field of injection moulding machinery manufacturing, he studied aerospace technology at the University of Applied Sciences in Aachen. For his final-year thesis and thereafter, he was involved in system studies and software development, primarily focusing on the design of future space transportation vehicles in the systems analysis department at DLR in Cologne. In 2001, he completed a master’s degree in space systems engineering at Delft University of Technology as part of a postgraduate education programme and then joined the department for human spaceflight, ISS and exploration at the DLR Space Administration in Bonn.
There, he supervised the ISS sub-programmes of the European space transporter ATV and of the rescue vehicle CRV. In 2011, Schmid took over as head of the ISS specialist group and became a delegate in ESA’s European Utilisation Board, a committee for the scientific utilisation of the ISS and for ground support programmes.
As project manager, he is also responsible for the ISS experiment MagVector/MFX and MFX-2 conducted by DLR, and initiated the CIMON project, among others. Having already served on the ESA Blue Dot mission of German astronaut Alexander Gerst, Schmid is also responsible for horizons as DLR mission manager.