Author Archives: Alexander

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...

Our Blue Dot. Credits: ESA/NASA

A single pixel – how Blue Dot got its name

Can you imagine all countries and continents you have ever seen, every human being that has ever lived, every living thing that has ever existed on our planet, everything that has ever happened, even our planet itself,...

A different perspective

As astronauts we have a unique view of our planet looking down from 400 km above. Some things that on Earth we see in the news every day and thus almost tend to accept as a “given”,...

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...