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Recent blog posts:

17.04.2019

Baikonur cosmodrome trip, April 2019

35 photos

Progress MS-11 resupply mission to the International Space Station launched from Site 31/6 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on the 4th of April. Liftoff took place at 14:01 Moscow time, setting the stage for the spacecraft to rendezvous with the outpost just over three hours later.

12.04.2019

April, 12th — Cosmonautics Day

On April 12, 1961, for the first time ever mankind went beyond the limits of the home planet and entered a new space age. We congratulate all space and cosmonautics fans on this great day and wish you all space health, peaceful skies, new heights and fantastic discoveries!

21.03.2019

Baikonur cosmodrome tour, March 2019

52 photos

On the 14th of March at 10:14 pm (Moscow time) it once more roared at the Baikonur cosmodrome. A spacecraft with a crew of three onboard was launched into space: A. Ovchinin, N. Hague and C. Koch. The MS-12 crew emblem was almost a copy of the MS-10 crew emblem, the spacecraft-launch of which went down in history as the first unsuccessful one since 1983 (!). Well, the Russian cosmonautics does not rest and goes on developing.

07.02.2019

From Russia with love

9 photos

Even strong frosts this year are unable to discourage tourists from discovering the world of cosmonautics. Besides, Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center at Star City looks as astonishing in winter as in summer. Our French guest didn’t fear colds neither. The beginning of February was marked by another tour to Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center. Sebastian’s wife asked us to arrange the tour programme as a gift to her loved one.

31.01.2019

Best St Valentine’s Day Gift

Brace yourselves, St Valentine’s Day is coming. In many world countries people want to spend this day making romantic surprises for their beloved and showing their true feelings. We are very glad to help 21st century romanticists to turn their most outstanding dreams and ideas into reality: sync aerobatics at sunset, family complex space training in GCTC and even marriage proposal aboard Mig-29 supersonic fighter via radio communication system during breathtaking aerobatics not to

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Alexander Gerst

ESA Astronaut, Germany

PERSONAL DATA:

Alexander Gerst was born in Künzelsau, Germany, on 3 May 1976. His favourite sports are fencing, swimming and running. He especially enjoys outdoor activities such as skydiving, snowboarding, hiking, mountaineering, climbing and scuba diving.

EDUCATION:

Alexander graduated from the Technical High School in Öhringen, Germany, in 1995.

In 2003 he received a diploma in geophysics from the University of Karlsruhe, Germany, and a master’s degree in Earth sciences from the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Both degrees were awarded with distinction.

In 2010 Alex graduated with a Doctorate in Natural Sciences at the Institute of Geophysics of the University of Hamburg, Germany. His dissertation was on geophysics and volcanic eruption dynamics.

EXPERIENCE:

During school, Alex volunteered as a boy scout leader, fire-fighter and water rescue lifeguard. As a student, from 1998 to 2003 he participated in various international scientific collaborations and field experiments. Several of these expeditions led him to remote locations such as Antarctica where he installed scientific instruments.

From 2001 to 2003, researching his master’s thesis on a volcano in New Zealand, Alex developed new volcano monitoring techniques that might improve forecasts of volcanic eruptions. The results were published in Science Magazine.

Alexander worked on developing scientific instruments at the Institute of Geophysics at the University of Hamburg between 2004 and 2009.

From 2005 to 2009, whilst at the Institute of Geophysics, he also worked towards his doctorate, investigating volcanic eruption dynamics on active volcanoes. His research goal was to determine the mechanics and the energy released during the first seconds of a volcanic eruption. His research led him to visit volcanoes on all continents, concentrating on an active volcano in Antarctica. In 2007 Alexander received the Bernd Rendel award for outstanding research from the DFG German Research Foundation.

ESA EXPERIENCE:

Alexander was selected as an ESA astronaut in May 2009. He joined ESA in September 2009 and completed Astronaut Basic Training in November 2010.

In September 2011, Alexander was assigned to fly to the International Space Station on a six-month mission serving as a flight engineer on Expeditions 40 and 41.

In May 2017 Alexander’s second mission, Horizons, was announced including his assignment as International Space Station commander. Alexander is the first of ESA’s class of 2009 astronauts who will be sent into space for a second time, launching on Soyuz MS-09 together with NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Russian spacecraft commander Sergei Prokopyev in the Summer of 2018.

SPACEFLIGHT EXPERIENCE:

Expedition 40/41 (May, 28 — November, 10, 2014). Alexander was launched on a Soyuz spacecraft from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in May 2014 and returned to Earth in November 2014. His comprehensive research programme included a wide variety of European and international science experiments as part of his six-month Blue Dot mission. The spaceflight duraion was 165 days.

ORGANISATIONS:

The International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of Earth’s Interior (IAVCEI)
The German Geophysical Society (DGG)
The European Geosciences Union (EGU)
The European Volcanological Society (SVE)
The American Geophysical Union (AGU)