A few days after his return to the international space station (ISS), german astronaut alexander gerst helped US astronauts on a mission in space.
The 42-year-old geophysicist from baden-wurttemberg supported his two u.S. Colleagues drew feustel and ricky arnold during important maintenance work in free space.
"Gerst is doing very well on this mission," volker schmid of the german aerospace center (DLR) told the deutsche presse agency. "He trained for it," said the DLR director of gerst’s "horizons" mission. Gerst had spent around two and a half years preparing for the mission in the usa, russia and germany.
Feustel and arnold worked weightlessly for almost seven hours in their white space suits on the eaves wall of the ISS. Among other things, they mounted high-resolution cameras at the outpost of humanity some 400 kilometers above the earth. The cameras will be used in the future for the docking of new US space capsules of the private companies spacex and boeing.
Gerst first helped feustel and arnold put on their spacesuits. Wearing a red polo shirt, he took security precautions and went through checklists. Later, he helped them return to the space station again.
Gerst’s task in the eavesdropping operation was to support his colleagues from the inside, explained schmid. He watches the activities from the cupola and makes sure everything goes according to plan. The cupola is a kind of observation post with a panoramic view of the ISS. In addition, gerst was the link between the astronauts and ground control in case communication was not clear.
Last friday, gerst arrived on the ISS together with russian sergej prokopjew and american serena aunon-chancellor for a six-month research mission. Aunon chancellor also assisted her two colleagues in the egress operation from inside the cupola by operating a robotic arm.
Gerst to live and research on ISS until december. It was initially unclear whether he would slip into the space move himself during the course of the mission. During his first stay in the space lab in 2014, he had a mission to the space lab. In the fall, gerst may take command of the ISS – as the first german ever to do so.
It was already the 6. Auben’s mission this year and the 211. Since the start of the ISS program almost 20 years ago. For feustel, it was the ninth time going into space; arnold worked for the fifth time floating freely in the cosmos. Feustel thus comes to more than 60 hours, which he was altogether in free space. This puts him in third place on the ranking list of missions, behind a russian and an american. Despite his routine, feustel was still able to get a lot out of this eagle mission. "This view never gets old," he wrote earlier on twitter uber die aussicht auf den blauen planeten.