Thomas Reiter

15 years after space flight: Reiter raves about space and ISS

Astronaut Thomas Reiter

15 years after space flight: Reiter raves about space and ISS

Rastede (dpa) – German astronaut Thomas Reiter (63) continues to rave about the views of Earth from 400 kilometres above the International Space Station (ISS) 15 years after his flight to the International Space Station (ISS). «Of course, the view of our planet and the beautiful sunrises and sunsets never goes out of mind, Reiter told the Deutsche Presse Agency. The outdoor deployment in outer space was «an absolute highlight.» «You can’t get any closer to space.»

Reiter was the first German on the. ISS. On July 4, 2006, he flew with the US space shuttle «Discovery» from Cape Canaveral to the Humanity Outpost and stayed there for about 171 days.

«The ISS was already much more spacious and comfortable than the Mir station at that time», Reiter said. Scientific work could be made more efficient. «And the almost continuous connection to the control centres in East and West, as well as the ability to make phone calls with family and friends almost every day, was a significant step forward.» It was the second mission of Reiter, who lives in Rastede (Lower Saxony). At its premiere in 1995, when he travelled aboard a Soyuz to the Russian «Mir»-space station, the ISS did not exist.

Matthias Maurer from Saarland will be the next German to fly to the ISS in autumn. The astronaut of the European Space Agency Esa will be the twelfth German in space – and the fourth German in the flying laboratory. There has never been a German female astronaut.

But that’s going to change, says Reiter. «But that’s going to change, says Reiter.»If successful, a space mission would be conceivable in the second half of this decade. « I would be delighted if the proportion of women in science or engineering courses in Germany would continue to increase.»