ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst from Germany is the second of ESA's new generation of astronauts scheduled to fly into space.
He'll be making a long-duration stay onboard the International Space Station, launching on 28 May from Baikonur in a Russian Soyuz capsule with two fellow crew members.
Alexander was selected as an ESA astronaut in May 2009. He joined ESA in September 2009 and completed Astronaut Basic Training in November 2010.
In September 2011, Alexander was assigned to fly to the International Space Station on a six-month mission. He will serve as a flight engineer for Expeditions 40 and 41. His comprehensive research programme will include a wide variety of European and international science experiments.
This video presents Alexander's mission: the Blue dot mission, and includes interviews with Alexander Gerst in English and German.