Hans Schlegel prepares for Columbus Mission
How does an astronaut feel about returning to space after 14 years? At the age of 56, German ESA astronaut Hans Schlegel will soon be beginning what could be seen as the most important journey of his life: The Columbus Mission to the ISS.
Schlegel has been preparing for his upcoming mission to deliver Columbus since starting his training as mission specialist with the NASA astronaut class of 1998 at the Johnson Space Center, Houston. All astronauts have to go through this extensive training to prepare for any given situation that might occur during a mission.
Following his assignment to the STS-122 Shuttle mission that will deliver the European Columbus laboratory to the International Space Station, recent months have seen a period of even more intensive briefings and further training for Schlegel, for his colleague French ESA astronaut Léopold Eyharts, and his STS-122 crewmates. Returning to space 14 years after his first visit, Schlegel is already wondering if his body will remember microgravity.