Matthias Maurer will fly to the ISS in autumn 2021
Matthias Mau­r­er will fly to the ISS in au­tumn 2021
Image 1/2, Credit: ESA

Matthias Maurer will fly to the ISS in autumn 2021

In au­tumn 2021, Matthias Mau­r­er will be­come the lat­est Ger­man as­tro­naut from the Eu­ro­pean Space Agen­cy (ESA) to fly to the In­ter­na­tion­al Space Sta­tion (ISS). This was con­firmed at an in­ter­na­tion­al con­fer­ence held by NASA, ESA, Roscos­mos and JAXA on 14 De­cem­ber 2020.
‘Cosmic Kiss’ – a declaration of love for space
‘Cos­mic Kiss’ – a dec­la­ra­tion of love for space
Image 2/2, Credit: ESA

‘Cosmic Kiss’ – a declaration of love for space

Matthias Mau­r­er was in­spired by the Ne­bra Sky Disc, the old­est re­al­is­tic de­pic­tion of our night sky, and the ‘Pi­o­neer Plaques’ and ‘Voy­ager Gold­en Records’ for the de­sign of his ‘Cos­mic Kiss’ mis­sion patch. The lat­ter were da­ta stor­age de­vices bear­ing knowl­edge about hu­mankind that were sent out in­to the Uni­verse on the US Pi­o­neer and Voy­ager space­craft. The mis­sion patch fea­tures spe­cif­ic cos­mic el­e­ments such as Earth, the Moon and the Pleiades star clus­ter, along­side Mars as a des­ti­na­tion for ex­plo­ration in the com­ing decade. The In­ter­na­tion­al Space Sta­tion (ISS) is shown in the shape of a heart, rep­re­sent­ing the hu­man heart­beat be­tween Earth and the Moon.

German European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Matthias Maurer and NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Thomas H. Marshburn and Kayla Barron are scheduled to fly to the International Space Station (ISS) on board a Crew Dragon spacecraft on 31 October 2021. Maurer will spend approximately six months on the Space Station during which he will carry out a range of experiments. The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) is involved in the mission in a number of ways. The German Space Agency at DLR is responsible for the selection and coordination of the experiments and Germany's contributions to the ISS. DLR researchers on Earth will also be carrying out experiments. ESA’s Columbus Control Centre, located at the German Space Operations Center (GSOC) at DLR's Oberpfaffenhofen site, is responsible for planning and carrying out the experiments conducted in the European Columbus module of the ISS. From there, the data generated by the experiments are sent to the national user control centres such as the Microgravity User Support Center (MUSC) at DLR's Cologne site and forwarded to the researchers themselves.

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