German Minister visits Star City to meet Thomas Reiter
On 29 June 2005 Mr Mathias Platzek, Minister-President of Brandenburg and Chairman of the Bundesrat, visited Star City to meet ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter from Germany.
Reiter is undergoing training at Star City for a long-duration mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Thanks to a recent agreement between ESA and the Russian Federal Space Agency, Reiter will be in a crew position originally planned for a Russian cosmonaut. He will perform all the tasks originally allocated to the second Russian cosmonaut on board the ISS, and also carry out an ESA experimental programme.
The flight to the ISS on board Space Shuttle STS-121 is scheduled to take place in September. This will be Reiter's second long-duration mission on board a space station as 10 years ago he spent six-months on the Russian Mir station, as part of the ESA Euromir 1995 mission.
Mr Platzek’s commenced his tour at the famous monument to Yuri Gagarin and then visited the training facilities. As he entered the Soyuz-TMA capsule to see how it feels to be on board a spacecraft Thomas Reiter was on hand to explain how everything works, show him the astronaut’s quarters and describe exactly how an astronaut feels during liftoff and landing. The Minister also visited the Russian modules for the ISS.