22. September 2019

Space pi­o­neer Sig­mund Jähn has passed away

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Space
Portrait: Sigmund Jähn
Sig­mund Jähn
Image 1/7, Credit: DLR

Sigmund Jähn

On 26 Au­gust 1978, GDR cit­i­zen Sig­mund Jähn be­came the first Ger­man to jour­ney in­to space. To­geth­er with his So­vi­et com­man­der, Valery Bykovsky, he flew to the So­vi­et Salyut 6 space sta­tion. There, Jähn con­duct­ed nu­mer­ous sci­en­tif­ic ex­per­i­ments. With his eight-day flight, dur­ing which he or­bit­ed Earth 125 times, he be­came fa­mous in both East and West.
Sigmund Jähn und Waleri Fjodorowitsch Bykowski vor dem Start 1978
Sig­mund Jähn with Valery Bykovsky be­fore the launch in 1978
Image 2/7, Credit: Archiv

Sigmund Jähn with Valery Bykovsky before the launch in 1978

Sig­mund Jähn (front) and the So­vi­et cos­mo­naut Valery Bykovsky be­fore their jour­ney in­to space in 1978. Bykovsky died in March 2019.
Ten German astronauts were present at the opening of :envihab in 2013
Ten Ger­man as­tro­nauts were present at the open­ing of :en­vi­hab in 2013
Image 3/7, Credit: DLR

Ten German astronauts were present at the opening of :envihab in 2013

The first Ger­man in space, Sig­mund Jähn, and ninel oth­er Ger­man space trav­ellers ac­cept­ed in­vi­ta­tions to the cer­e­mo­ni­al open­ing of the :en­vi­hab re­search fa­cil­i­ty at the DLR In­sti­tute of Aerospace Medicine in Cologne on 5 Ju­ly 2013. From left to right: Ger­hard Thiele, Rein­hold Ewald, Klaus-Di­et­rich Flade, Ul­rich Wal­ter, Hans Schlegel, Ernst Messer­schmid, Thomas Re­it­er, Sig­mund Jähn, Ulf Mer­bold and Alexan­der Gerst.
Sigmund Jähn and German ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst
Sig­mund Jähn and Ger­man ESA as­tro­naut Alexan­der Gerst
Image 4/7, Credit: Archiv

Sigmund Jähn and German ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst

Sig­mund Jähn (left) and the Ger­man ESA as­tro­naut Alexan­der Gerst at­tend­ing an event at the Ger­man Space Ex­hi­bi­tion in Mor­gen­röthe-Raut­enkranz.
In the cosmonaut hotel in Baikonur 2018
In the cos­mo­naut ho­tel in Baikonur 2018
Image 5/7, Credit: ©DLR

In the cosmonaut hotel in Baikonur 2018

On 5 June 2018, Sig­mund Jähn (cen­tre) met Chair of the DLR Ex­ec­u­tive Board Pas­cale Ehren­fre­und (2nd from left), DLR Ex­ec­u­tive Board Mem­ber for the Space Ad­min­is­tra­tion Walther Pelz­er (left), ESA Di­rec­tor Gen­er­al Jo­hann-Di­et­rich Wörn­er (right) and Mem­ber of the Ger­man Bun­destag Klaus-Pe­ter Willsch in the cos­mo­naut ho­tel in Baikonur be­fore Alexan­der Gerst's launch on his hori­zons mis­sion.
A warm reunion with cosmonaut Vinogradov
A warm re­union with cos­mo­naut Vino­gradov
Image 6/7, Credit: ©DLR

A warm reunion with cosmonaut Vinogradov

In Baikonur, Sig­mund Jähn met the cos­mo­naut Pavel Vladimirovich Vino­gradov again on 6 June 2018 be­fore the start of Alexan­der Gerst's mis­sion.
Siegmund Jähn at the rollout before Alexander Gerst's launch in 2018
Sieg­mund Jähn at the roll­out be­fore Alexan­der Gerst's launch in 2018
Image 7/7, Credit: ©DLR

Siegmund Jähn at the rollout before Alexander Gerst's launch in 2018

On 6 June 2018, 40 years af­ter be­com­ing the first Ger­man to go in­to space, Sieg­mund Jähn vis­it­ed Baikonur and watched the roll­out of the rock­et that would car­ry Alexan­der Gerst in­to space.

It is with great sadness that the Executive Board and staff of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) have learned of the death of Sigmund Jähn, the first German to go into space. He passed away on 21 September 2019.

“With the death of Sigmund Jähn, German space research has lost a world-renowned cosmonaut, scientist and engineer,” says Pascale Ehrenfreund, Chair of the DLR Executive Board. “The first German to go into space always saw himself as a bridge builder between East and West and an advocate for the peaceful use of space. We will preserve and perpetuate this message, for Earth and space, in his memory.”

Contact
  • Andreas Schütz
    DLR Spokesper­son, Head of Me­dia Re­la­tions
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)
    Me­dia Re­la­tions
    Telephone: +49 2203 601-2474
    Fax: +49 2203 601-3249
    Linder Höhe
    51147 Cologne
    Contact

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