ESA title
Science & Exploration

Announcing Blue Dot mission logo

22/09/2013 8912 views 72 likes
ESA / Science & Exploration / Human and Robotic Exploration / Blue dot

ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst is set for a six-month stay on the International Space Station in 2014. His mission came one step closer today when the mission patch was revealed at the European Astronaut Centre during German Space Day in Cologne, Germany.

Alex is leaving Earth from Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan 28 May 2014. He will fly on a Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station with Russian cosmonaut Maxim Viktorovich Surayev and NASA astronaut Gregory Reid Wiseman.

The mission logo is inspired by an image of Earth taken by NASA’s Voyager spacecraft as it travelled six billion kilometres from our planet. American astronomer Carl Sagan described our faintly visible planet on the photograph as “a pale blue dot”.

Cassini images our pale blue dot
Cassini images our pale blue dot

During his 166-day mission the next ESA astronaut to fly to space has an extensive scientific programme planned running around 40 experiments in materials physics, human physiology, radiation biology, solar research, biotechnology, fluid physics, astrophysics and technology demonstrations. All experiments are designed to improve life on Earth and prepare further exploration projects.

A highlight of Expedition 40/41 is the electromagnetic levitator furnace which keeps molten metal suspended in microgravity for measurements. On Earth many readings in furnaces are hampered by the mold holding the metal so characteristics cannot be analysed without interference. The results of this experiment promise to improve industrial casting processes and might allow for more delicate and fine castings.

After conquering remote mountains and working in Antarctica, the geophysicist and volcanologist will become the third German to visit the Station. His mission has the theme ‘shaping the future’ and will include an educational programme to inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists.

Alex during weightlessness training
Alex during weightlessness training

Related Articles

Horizons logo
Science & Exploration

New Horizons for Alexander Gerst

29/05/2017 13499 views 137 likes
Read
Alexander commander of ISS announcement
Science & Exploration

Alexander Gerst to be Space Station commander

18/05/2016 17496 views 90 likes
Read
German President Gauck visits ESA in Darmstadt
Agency

German Head of State visits ESA Operations Centre

26/05/2014 2942 views 15 likes
Read
HM Queen Beatrix and Italian President Napolitano at ESTEC
Agency

A royal and presidential visit to ESA’s technical heart

26/10/2012 1518 views 6 likes
Read
Alexander Gerst back on Earth
Science & Exploration

ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst returns to Earth

10/11/2014 19164 views 56 likes
Read
Science & Exploration

Alexander’s rollercoaster ride from space to Germany

06/11/2014 9452 views 67 likes
Read
Alexander testing spacesuit
Science & Exploration

Alexander Gerst set for spacewalk

03/10/2014 10098 views 62 likes
Read
Complete crew
Science & Exploration

Halfway through Blue Dot mission

18/09/2014 5048 views 48 likes
Read
Our blue dot
Science & Exploration

Blue Dot update

15/07/2014 3710 views 23 likes
Read
Moonrise from space
Science & Exploration

Spot the Space Station looking at you

01/07/2014 24041 views 96 likes
Read
Flying over Earth
Science & Exploration

Science and spacewalks on Space Station

20/06/2014 5457 views 66 likes
Read
Alexander Gerst
Science & Exploration

Alexander’s first week in space

05/06/2014 7587 views 72 likes
Read
Liftoff of Soyuz TMA-13M on 28 May 2014
Science & Exploration

ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst arrives at Space Station

29/05/2014 6977 views 44 likes
Read
Alexander Gerst
Science & Exploration

Expedition 40 all set to go

26/05/2014 5517 views 50 likes
Read
Columbus Control Centre
Science & Exploration

Munich to Alexander: all systems go

22/05/2014 3863 views 42 likes
Read
Final qualification exams for the Expedition 40/41 crew
Science & Exploration

Alexander Gerst ready for orbit

09/05/2014 1801 views 18 likes
Read
Testing Sokol suit
Science & Exploration

Ask astronaut Alexander anything

11/03/2014 3553 views 36 likes
Read
Alexander Gerst
Science & Exploration

Inside astronaut Alexander’s head

17/02/2014 5254 views 65 likes
Read
Blue Dot mission logo
Science & Exploration

Announcing Blue Dot mission logo

22/09/2013 8912 views 72 likes
Read

Related Links