The Astronauts

Samantha Cristoforetti

Born in Milan, Italy, on 26 April 1977 Cristoforetti enjoys hiking, scuba diving, practicing yoga, reading, and travelling. Other interests include technology, nutrition and the Chinese language. After a multinational education spanning universities in Italy, Germany, USA, Russia and France she became a fighter pilot with the Italian air force before joining the ESA Astronaut corps.

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Alexander Gerst

Born in Künzelsau, Germany, on 3 May 1976. His favourite sports are fencing, swimming and running. He especially enjoys outdoor activities including skydiving, snowboarding, hiking, mountaineering, climbing and scuba diving.

A geophysicist by education and trade, Alexander has travelled to many remote places on Earth including many volcanoes and Antarctica. Proficient in first aid he has volunteered as fire-fighter and lifeguard.

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Andreas Mogensen

Born in Copenhagen, Denmark on 2 November 1976. Mogensen enjoys rugby, basketball, squash, and fitness training. He also participates actively in several adventure sports, including scuba diving, skydiving, kite surfing, kayaking, and mountaineering. His other interests include science, in particular astrophysics, astrobiology and evolution, and literature.

Andreas’ professional experience includes working as an engineer on offshore oil rigs and wind turbines as well as working on orbit and attitude control systems for ESA’s Swarm mission.

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Luca Parmitano

Born in Paternò, Italy, on 27 September 1976. Married with two daughters. Parmitano is an active scuba diver and enjoys snowboarding, skydiving, weight training and swimming. Other interests include reading and music.

Luca Parmitano is a Major in the Italian Air Force, where he was a test pilot and chief of training for the 13th Group and commander of the 76th Squadron.

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Timothy Peake

Born in Chichester, the United Kingdom, on 7 April 1972. Married with one son. Peake includes skiing, scuba diving and cross country running among his leisure activities. He also enjoys reading.

A test pilot for the British Army, Timothy also is a qualified helicopter flying instructor. He has logged over 3000 hours flying time on more than 30 types of helicopters and planes.

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Thomas Pesquet

Born in Rouen, France, on 27 February 1978. Pesquet is a black belt in judo and enjoys basketball, jogging, swimming, squash and outdoor sports, such as mountain biking, kite surfing, sailing, skiing and mountaineering. He also has extensive experience in scuba diving and sky diving. His other interests include travelling, playing the saxophone and reading.

Thomas has been working in the space industry since 2001.  First for Thales Alenia Space in France followed by GMV in Spain before returning to France to work for the French space agency CNES. After learning to fly as a private pilot Thomas started flying the Airbus A320 in 2006 for commercial airlines.

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