ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst recounts his training for his Blue Dot mission to the International Space Station in May. Alexander spent over four years learning science, survival techniques, new languages, robotic operations and Space Station systems to prepare for his mission.
Alexander discusses basic training, overseeing docking of ESA’s Automated Transfer Vehicle space freighter, spacewalk training in swimming pools, the merits of US and Russian spacesuits and the scientific experiments he will conduct.
Alexander will spend six months on the Space Station performing experiments and maintaining the weightless laboratory. He is part of Expedition 40/41 to be launched May 2014 on a Soyuz spacecraft with cosmonaut commander Maxim Surayev and NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman.