Alexander Gerst, ESA astronaut of German nationality, beside the docking mechanism inside a full-size Automated Transfer Vehicle simulator at the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany.
Alexander will fly to the International Space Station in 2014 for a six-month mission as a flight engineer of Expeditions 40 and 41.
Alexander Gerst was born in Künzelsau, Germany, in 1976. He studied at the University of Karlsruhe, Germany, where he received a diploma in geophysics. He also studied Earth Science at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, where he was awarded a Master of Science. He has been working as a researcher since 2001. In his spare time he enjoys mountaineering, diving, climbing and skydiving.