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Science & Exploration

N° 26–2021: Call for media: Pre-launch news conference with ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer

1 September 2021

Media representatives are invited to join German ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer on Thursday 9 September from 09:00-10:00 CEST for a news conference to learn more about his first mission to space.

The conference is Matthias’s final media event in Europe ahead of his launch to the International Space Station and will be held at ESA’s European Astronaut Centre (EAC) in Cologne, Germany. The number of media permitted on-site will be limited due to Covid-19 restrictions. However, off-site media also may attend and ask questions virtually via a dedicated WebEx platform.  

Matthias selected the name ‘Cosmic Kiss’ for his mission as a declaration of love for space. It communicates the special connection the Station provides between Earth’s inhabitants and the cosmos, and conveys the value of partnership in exploring farther to the Moon and Mars, alongside the need to respect, protect and preserve the nature of our home planet for a sustainable future on Earth.

As a member of Crew 3, he will fly to the International Space Station alongside NASA astronauts Kayla Barron, Tom Marshburn and Raja Chari in a Crew Dragon spacecraft, launching from the USA’s Kennedy Space Centre no earlier than 31 October 2021. He is also expected to have a small crossover with ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet on board.  

During his six months in orbit, Matthias will support numerous European and international experiments in microgravity. Knowledge gained as a result of his mission will shape the future of space exploration and help enhance life on Earth.  


All times are CEST. This event will be held in German and English.

  • 08:15   Media arrive on site
  • 09:00   News conference begins
  • 09:30   Opportunity for media questions
  • 10:00   News conference ends
  • 10:30   Limited opportunity for 1:1 interviews (please request in advance via


  • Josef Aschbacher, ESA Director General (joining remotely)
  • David Parker, ESA Director Human and Robotic Exploration (joining remotely)
  • Frank De Winne, ESA International Space Station Programme Manager and Head of EAC
  • Walther Pelzer, Director General of the German Space Agency at DLR, Member of the DLR Executive Board
  • Matthias Maurer, ESA Astronaut

Location: ESA/EAC

Linder Hoehe
D-51147 Cologne

Media registration:

Register by 7 September, specifying whether you would like to join in-person or online:

Note: the number of in-person places is very limited due to Covid-19 restrictions, please register as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Please note that for all media representatives joining us at EAC the German Federal Government’s  ‘3G’ rule applies: You have to fully vaccinated or healed from Covid-19. This is a condition for access and will be checked.

In addition, a valid PCR test (not older that 48 hours) is required for everyone. We ask for your understanding regarding the even stricter ESA European Astronaut Centre rules as health and safety of our astronauts shortly before a mission is a top priority.

Also, for media wishing to attend in person we kindly ask media teams to restrict their numbers as much as possible as places are limited. During the event, medical face masks have to be worn by all, at all times when inside. This means also by the speakers, when speaking. 

The press briefing will be streamed at, but only registered media will be able to ask questions via a dedicated WebEx platform.

Upcoming events are posted on the launch calendar and events calendar at


If you have further questions or 1:1 interview requests, please contact

Social media

Follow ESA on:

Twitter: @esa @esaspaceflight, @astro_matthias
Instagram: Europeanspaceagency, esamatthiasmaurer
Facebook: EuropeanSpaceAgency, ESAMatthiasMaurer
YouTube: ESA

Further information

Information on the Cosmic Kiss mission:

Latest updates on the Exploration blog:


Terms and conditions for using ESA images:

For questions or more information related to ESA images, please contact directly


Video B-roll of Matthias training for the Cosmic Kiss mission is available on ESA’s videos for professionals:

Terms and conditions for using ESA videos:

For questions or more information related to ESA videos, please contact directly

About the European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) provides Europe’s gateway to space.

ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

ESA has 22 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Slovenia, Latvia and Lithuania are Associate Members.

ESA has established formal cooperation with five Member States of the EU. Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement.

By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country. It is working in particular with the EU on implementing the Galileo and Copernicus programmes as well as with Eumetsat for the development of meteorological missions.

Learn more about ESA at

For further information:

ESA Newsroom and Media Relations Office – Ninja Menning


Tel: +31 71 565 6409