Mo, 29.09.2003

Besuch des Astronauten Hans Schlegel (ESA) in Hansenberg

On the 30.9 the ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Hans Schlegel came and gave a talk on his work and experiences, good and bad, as an astronaut. Hans Schlegel is 52 years old and was born as the middle child of nine in Germany. In the twelth class at school he did an EFS-exchange to the USA where he graduated from high school followed by two years of military service he studied experimental Physics in Aachen. He has been an astronaut for 15 years, since he replied to an announcement in the FAZ in 1987 and he then trained until his first mission in 1993. At the age of 44 he started to learn Russian and joined the Russian team, although he was never picked for a mission. He has now been doing advanced training in the USA for 5 years but is still employed by ESA, which is made up of 15 other members stated, including Switzerland, and a few assoziative members, i. e. Canada and Japan. They have a team of 15 astronauts of whom only one is a woman until even she resigned.

After telling us about his history he moved to a very moving video with explanation of the Columbia disaster. After this he explained what the selection process for astronauts is: there are tests on technical intuition, languages knowledge and a three-day medical and fitness test. He then followed this with a detailed explanation of the training on Earth and life on board a mission to which he showed a video. Following his talk there was a long and interesting question-and-answer time.

Fast Facts:

  • space research costs every German citizen only about 10,- € per year
  • there are roughly 10 to 20 mistakes per flight
  • the three dangers in space are: fire, poison or dangerous materials and leakage of air out of the cabin
  • the flight commander cleans the toilet
  • 5–10 years for the first mission, further missions every three years

„Space voyage is pushing the borders of the known further away“