Matthias Maurer feels ‘like a little bird’ on the International Space Station

Astronaut Matthias Maurer

During his time on the International Space Station, Matthias Maurer and his colleagues were tasked with conducting several scientific experiments. Photo: – / ESA / NASA / dpa

(Photo: dpa)

“I feel like a little bird that just grew wings, and now I have to learn how to fly,” Maurer said Friday in an initial video call from the International Space Station. He still had to get used to living and working in space. The astronaut made a satisfactory impression when the European Space Agency (ESA) called the temporary meeting of the ESA Council of Ministers in Matosinos, Portugal. “Everything here is great,” he said.

Astronaut Esa Maurer arrived at the International Space Station a week ago with his three NASA colleagues. The 51-year-old from Saarland is the 12th German in space, the fourth on the International Space Station – and the first to fly there in “Crew Dragon”.

Also planned for outdoor use

On the International Space Station, he will conduct several experiments for about six months at an altitude of about 400 km, and will likely also complete an external mission. The last time a German astronaut was aboard the International Space Station was Alexander Gerst in 2018.

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Maurer said the group was busy for the first few days clearing material for trials from “Crew Dragon.” He himself will participate in about 150 experiments, which he hopes will help improve the knowledge and reputation of Europe in the world. However, on Friday he was also busy with what he said was a “very normal” job, the maintenance of the toilet. To do this, he said, he had to dig deep into the inside of the toilet and pipe.

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“Cooperation is the key”

In the call, Maurer also called for more cross-border cooperation. “We don’t have limits,” Maurer said. At least from space you don’t see any boundaries. Collaboration is what drives the international space station forward. “Working together is the key to further exploration of the universe,” he said, referring to the exploration of the Moon and Mars.

Maurer said there is progress now in Europe, but his opinion needs more promise. “I see an urgent need for Europe to invest more in space.” This way you can see what’s happening around Earth and inspire young people who might later become astronauts. “If my work can help support ESA in its quest to become a stronger partner for Europe, I am the happiest astronaut in space and also the happiest person on the planet.”

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