Author Archives: Alexander

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100% ready

It is starting to get real: Serena, Sergei and I will squeeze into the cockpit of our Soyuz capsule at the top of a 50-m rocket and blast off into space with a thrust equivalent to around...

Back to the unique floating laboratory

With every new day, I am looking more and more forward to returning to the International Space Station – and doing somersaults while brushing my teeth again… I am also looking forward to all the scientific research...

Towards new horizons

It still appears somewhat surreal to me, but it looks like it’s happening again: in June 2018 – if everything goes to plan – I will leave for my second mission in space. Like the first one,...

Happy 10th Anniversary, Columbus!

After working every day in the European Columbus laboratory for several months, it became like a second home to me. Yet, despite this seemingly intimate knowledge, I discovered new parts and details every day that I hadn’t...

Moonset over Alaska. Credit: ESA/NASA

Next stop: the Moon

ESA’s vision for near-future lunar exploration will soon be shared at the Symposium ‘Moon 2020-2030: A new Era of Human and Robotic Exploration’. As part of this Symposium, ESA is organising the ESA Moon Challenge. This international...

Moonset over Alaska. Credit: ESA/NASA

Next stop: the Moon

ESA’s vision for near-future lunar exploration will soon be shared at the Symposium ‘Moon 2020-2030: A new Era of Human and Robotic Exploration’. As part of this Symposium, ESA is organising the ESA Moon Challenge. This international...

Deploying cubesats. Credits: ESA/NASA

Blue Dot science – part one

The Blue Dot mission is nearing its end, I leave my home of the last five months on Sunday night. I am touched by all who joined me on my adventure and it was a pleasure to...

Earth. Credits: ESA/NASA

The system that is keeping us alive

I owe my life at this point to five letters: ECLSS. Of course I owe my life to many things, but floating up here in the vacuum of space it is our life-support system that takes a...