Live: News conference with ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst

Alexander Gerst training in Houston
16 April 2018

Join us live from the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany, on 17 April for ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst’s last news conference in Europe before his second mission to the International Space Station.

The final countdown for Alexander’s second stay in orbit has begun. The mission is called Horizons to evoke exploring our Universe, looking far beyond our planet and broadening our knowledge. His first mission was called Blue Dot.

Alexander will be launched on 6 June with US astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Russian cosmonaut Sergei Prokopyev from the Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan in the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft.

Alexander will take over command of the International Space Station for the second half of his mission. This is only the second time that a European astronaut will take up this leading position on the space outpost – the first was ESA astronaut Frank De Winne in 2009. Alexander Gerst is the 11th German citizen to fly into space.

The astronaut is now in the last stages of training for his challenging mission. The science programme is packed with European research: more than 50 experiments will deliver benefits to people back on Earth and prepare for future space exploration. 

Programme (times CEST)

The event will be presented in German and English.

10:30  Welcome by Frank De Winne, Head of ESA’s European Astronaut Centre
“The European Astronaut Corps”, by ESA astronaut Tim Peake
“Horizons experiments”, by Volker Schmid, Head of DLR’s International Space Station team, and Matthias Sperl, DLR scientist
Lightning talks on Horizons science
11:15 Conversation with Alexander Gerst on science, exploration and his role as Station Commander
11:30 Q&A session
12:30 Media opportunity for shared interviews
13:15 End
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