Cosmic Kiss mission begins as Matthias Maurer arrives at the Space Station


Science & Exploration

12/11/2021
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In temporary

The spacecraft carrying ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer and his NASA astronaut colleagues Raja Chari, Thomas Marshburn and Kayla Barron docked to the International Space Station at 00:32 CET Friday, 12 November (23:32 GMT Thursday, 11 November), marking the official begin of Matthias’s first mission ‘Cosmic Kiss’. 

In-depth

The 4 Crew-Three astronauts have been launched in a brand new SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft, known as Endurance, atop a Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA at 02:03 GMT/03:03 CET Thursday 11 November. They arrived at the Station round 22 hours later for a six-month keep in orbit. 

Crew-Three launch to the Space Station

Matthias and his crew mates have been welcomed aboard by NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov when the hatch opened at 01:25 GMT/02:25 CET, as members of Expedition 66.Anton is the present commander of the International Space Station. He took over the position from ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet on 6 November, previous to Thomas’s return to Earth with Crew-2.

An thrilling time for Europe

Josef Aschbacher

ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher says Matthias’s mission comes at an thrilling time for Europe in house.  “ESA has an ambitious agenda as we seek to maintain and grow Europe’s role as a leading space agency. This cuts across all areas of the space economy including human and robotic exploration, telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, space safety and security and more, and will require close cooperation with all our Member States, the European Union, the space industry and Europe’s scientific community in the coming years.  “In addition to Matthias’s launch and Thomas’s return from the Space Station, we also have Samantha Cristoforetti preparing for her second mission next year where she will become the first female ESA astronaut to hold the role of Space Station Commander,” provides ESA Director of Human and Robotic Exploration David Parker. “And of course, we are in the process of recruiting a new class of ESA astronauts as we look to the future of exploration beyond low-Earth orbit, to the Moon and eventually Mars. “I’m delighted to see Matthias arrive safely to the Space Station and wish him all the best as he, and the teams supporting him, embark on a busy six months of science, research and operations in weightlessness.”  

A declaration of affection for house

Matthias Maurer official portrait

Matthias chosen the identify ‘Cosmic Kiss’ for his time aboard the Space Station as a declaration of affection for house.  While in orbit, he’ll help greater than 35 European experiments and quite a few worldwide experiments. Knowledge gained by his mission will contribute to improvement that advantages life on Earth as properly as the way forward for exploration past low-Earth orbit. “Cosmic Kiss communicates the special connection the Station provides between Earth’s inhabitants and the cosmos,” Matthias explains. “Partnership is so important in exploring farther to the Moon and Mars, as is the need to respect, protect and preserve the nature of our home planet as we seek a sustainable future on Earth and beyond.” 

An action-packed mission

Orion and ESM stacked on prime of Moon launcher for Artemis 1

In addition to orbital science, Matthias can be licensed to carry out a spacewalk in each the NASA EMU spacesuit and the Russian Orlan spacesuit. It is predicted he’ll carry out a Russian spacewalk to help the set up and first operations of the European Robotic Arm (ERA) that travelled to the Station with the Russian Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) on 29 July this yr. Measuring over 11 m in size, the European-built arm is the first robotic in a position to ‘walk’ round the Russian phase of the International Space Station and the just one that astronauts can management from each inside and outdoors the Space Station. He can be anticipated to be in orbit for the launch of the Webb Space Telescope and the launch of Artemis I, an uncrewed mission that can see ESA’s European Service Module (ESM-1) energy NASA’s Orion spacecraft on its journey round the Moon and again to Earth.

Follow the Cosmic Kiss mission

Patch for Matthias Maurer’s Cosmic Kiss mission

For extra data on science and operations Matthias will perform in house, view the Cosmic Kiss mission brochure in English or German. Regular updates may even be supplied on the ESA Cosmic Kiss mission web page, ESA Exploration weblog and Matthias’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram channels.You may store the official Cosmic Kiss assortment on-line at the ESA Space Shop and get in the house spirit with the official Cosmic Kiss mission playlist on Spotify.

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