Cologne - 41 experiments of the upcoming "Horizons" mission by astronaut Alexander Gerst come from Germany. These experiments are intended to contribute to solutions for global societal challenges such as health, the environment, climate change and digitization, Industry 4.0, energy and mobility of tomorrow, as the German Space Center in Cologne announced.
The German ESA astronaut Gerst is starting next Tuesday for his second long-term mission on the ISS. The 41 German experiments for “Horizons” are coordinated and controlled by DLR. Among other things, questions are to be answered how living cells behave in weightlessness. It is also about the effects of stay in space on the human immune system.
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"Alexander Gerst's mission strengthens Germany as location for science and innovation and makes the Federal Republic of Germany one of the most intensive users and beneficiaries of the scientific facilities on board the International Space Station," explained Walther Pelzer, Director of the DLR Space Administration in Bonn. which controls the German contributions to the ISS and thus also to the "Horizons" mission of the 42-year-old Gerst.
The "Horizons" mission manager at DLR space management, Volker Schmid, pointed out that the research of Gerst on the ISS not only means science in space: "The experiments were designed on Earth, the hardware and software were developed and built here." Samples came from laboratories on earth, and many of them returned there after the experiments on the ISS back to be evaluated.
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“The results of this research, in turn, push innovations on earth - also in Germany ”, emphasized Schmid. According to DLR, around 1,000 scientists, engineers and program managers are working all over Germany for the success of the "Horizons" mission - at DLR, at German universities and research institutions and in industry.
The 41 experiments from Germany are among them 67 European experiments that Gerst will work on during his second long-term stay in the ISS. Gerst's second flight into space is scheduled to begin next Tuesday at 1:12 p.m. Central European summer time in the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan. In the second half of his mission, which will last until December, the 42-year-old will be the first German to take command of the ISS.