Klaus-Dietrich Flade with the mouse from 'Sendung mit der Maus' (Mouse TV)
Klaus-Di­et­rich Flade with the mouse from 'Sendung mit der Maus' (Mouse TV)
Image 1/3, Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

Klaus-Dietrich Flade with the mouse from 'Sendung mit der Maus' (Mouse TV)

Flade trav­elled in­to or­bit on 17 March 1992 for sev­en days. Along­side his col­leagues there was an ad­di­tion­al guest – the mouse from pop­u­lar tele­vi­sion show 'Die Sendung mit der Maus' (lit­er­al­ly, 'The pro­gramme with the mouse' – re­named 'Mouse TV' for En­glish-speak­ing au­di­ences) ac­com­pa­nied the crew on their mis­sion Dressed in a sil­ver space suit, she float­ed through the Rus­sian Mir space sta­tion. This event was beamed live to view­ers on Earth and the tra­di­tion was con­tin­ued five years lat­er on the Mir '97 mis­sion, when Rein­hold Ewald brought along 'Hein Blöd' – a char­ac­ter from the same pro­gramme.
Klaus-Dietrich Flade ready for launch
Klaus-Di­et­rich Flade ready for launch
Image 2/3, Credit: dpa–Bildarchiv.

Klaus-Dietrich Flade ready for launch

On 17 March 1992, the Ger­man as­tro­naut Klaus-Di­et­rich Flade, to­geth­er with the two Rus­sian cos­mo­nauts Alek­san­dr Vik­torenko and Alexan­dr (Sascha) Ka­leri, launched on an eight-day mis­sion to the Rus­sian space sta­tion Mir on board the Soyuz TM-14 space­craft from Baikonur Cos­mod­rome in Kaza­khstan. On 19 March 1992, the space­craft docked with the Mir sta­tion and the three cos­mo­nauts 'moved' in­to the space sta­tion.
The MIR'92 crew in the Soyuz simulator
The MIR'92 crew in the Soyuz sim­u­la­tor
Image 3/3, Credit: dpa-Bildarchiv.

The MIR'92 crew in the Soyuz simulator

Klaus-Di­et­rich Flade (be­hind), Alek­san­dr Vik­torenko and Alek­san­dr (Sascha) Ka­leri (front) in the So­jus TM sim­u­la­tor. Flade was the first Ger­man as­tro­naut to take part in a space­flight of the for­mer USSR. On 17 March 1992, the then 39-year-old Luft­waffe test pi­lot, to­geth­er with Vik­torenko and Ka­leri, were launched from Baikonur en route to the Rus­sian space sta­tion Mir on board the Soyuz TM-14 space­craft.

Klaus-Dietrich Flade was born on 23 August 1952 in Büdesheim, near Frankfurt. He served in the military from 1974 to 1976 where he completed both his officer and aircraft mechanics training. He then studied for a degree in Aerospace Engineering at the University of the Federal Armed Forces in Munich (Universität der Bundeswehr München).

Prior to commencing his training as a test pilot in England in 1988, Flade had been a pilot of both single and multi-engine high-performance aircraft for eight years. Flade became a member of the German astronaut team in October 1990 and was involved in the preparation of the Mir '92 mission, where biomedical experiments were to be performed.

Flade lifted off on 17 March 1992 for a week-long stay in orbit with his colleagues and a special guest. The mouse from popular children's television programme 'Die Sendung mit der Maus' (literally, 'The programme with the mouse', renamed 'Mouse TV' for English-speaking audiences) accompanied the crew on their mission. Dressed in a silver space suit, she floated through the Russian Mir space station. This event was beamed live to viewers on Earth and the tradition was continued five years later on the Mir '97 mission, when Reinhold Ewald brought along 'Hein Blöd', a character from the same programme.

DLR assumed all payload operation and astronaut supervision duties for the Mir '92 mission.

Flade became an Airbus test pilot following the successful conclusion of the mission. He lives and works in Toulouse, France.

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