Author Archives: Alexander

Space sunset. Credits: ESA/NASA

New horizons

Exploring new horizons has never been easy. Throughout the hundreds of thousands of years of human history, people have been adventurers; some willingly and others forced by circumstances have taken great risks while seeking new prospects or...

As Soyuz backup crew.

Rocket launch part 1

(Deutsch) Ich wusste, dass es eindrucksvoll und laut werden würde, soviel war klar. Schließlich hatte ich Jahre zuvor das Space Shuttle in den schwarzen Nachthimmel von Cape Canaveral starten sehen. Nur anscheinend vergisst man als Mensch solche...

Training emergencies in USA. Credits: NASA

80%

How will I find my underwear hidden away in the 1000 lockers on the Space Station? Spending many years training every day for a space mission you get to know your colleagues very well. Reid Wiseman is...

Training in Russia. Credits: GCTC

6000 hours of training leads to this

I started training for this moment over 4.5 years ago when I was chosen to be part of ESA’s class of 2009 astronauts. Since then ESA has trained me for 3000 hours including medical examinations and public...

In Antarctica 2007

One-way tickets

The first time I felt like this, I was 21 and on a plane to Honduras. In my hand I had a 12-month round-the-world ticket with a completely open itinerary. I had put my backpack in the...

Humankind’s biggest adventure

One of the most important goals for spaceflight in the near future is Mars where we could find answers to important scientific and philosophical questions...

Viking on Mars

Of robots and humans

When the American Viking probe landed on Mars it was attempting to find if there was water on Mars. It did not find any water. It wasn’t until 2008 that the Phoenix lander finally proved that water-ice...

Soyuz Training

Sitting in a spaceship for the first time

In my last entry I wrote that the best moments of my training were when the curious little child in me wakes up and  gets excited. For sure, this will happen more and more often, because when...

Alexander in the real Soyuz

Astronaut training – Per Aspera Ad Astra

When training for a space mission, sooner or later you lose your sense of time. It might sound bizarre, but to me the time ahead (more precisely, the period between now and the start of my mission...