in Frankfurt in Main, Germany. Thomas Reiter studied Aerospace Engineering at the University of the of the Federal Armed Forces in Munich. He holds a degree in Engineering and is a retired general.
As pilot of the German Air Force (Luftwaffe), he flew the Alpha Jet and Tornado. From 1990 to 1992, he underwent training as test pilot.
In 1992 Thomas Reiter was selected to join ESA’s European Astronaut Corps.
In March 1995 he was nominated as flight engineer for the longest manned ESA space mission ‘Euromir95’ until then.
From September 1997 to March 1999, Thomas Reiter was Commander of the Flight Group of the Tornado fighter-bomber squadron 38 ‘Friesland’. From July to December 2006, his second space mission took him to the International Space Station (ISS). Reiter again held the position of flight engineer.
He spent a total of 350 days in space and conducted more than 70 scientific experiments and took part in three outboard missions.
Following his active career as astronaut, he was appointed to the DLR Executive Board in 2007. He was responsible for space research and development.
From April 2011 to December 2015, he was head of the Darmstadt-based ESA Directorate for Human Spaceflight and Mission Operations. In this position Reiter was in charge of the European ISS activities and the ESA activities in the field of Astronautical Space Travel. He also was responsible for manned and unmanned spacecraft operations and operations of the ground segment.
From 2016 to his retirement in May 2021, Thomas Reiter was Coordinator International Agencies at ESA and also Advisor to ESA’s Director General.