If an Astronaut Alexander Gerst lands on Thursday, after nearly 200 days on the ISS in the winter Steppe of Kazakhstan, is ready for the obligatory Apple, the returnees from the International space station ISS is traditionally received as a reward.

At the 6. June Gerst broken to the ISS. His return to earth was delayed after the false start of two colleagues from Russia and the United States with a Soyuz rocket in October. In the meantime a detachment arrived but on the International space station, U.S. astronaut Anne McClain, canadian David Saint-Jacques and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko. Gerst will be along Chancellor with the Russians Sergeij Prokopyev, and the American Serena Auñón-on 20. December fly back to earth.

The Astronaut Alexander Gerst is the first German commander on the International space station(ISS). Combined with his two previous missions to the space station, was not a German for so long in All like Gerst: for almost a year.

In the German aerospace circles, it is hoped, already on another ambitious Mission: The United States wants to go around 2023 for the first time in decades the moon with a manned Orion spacecraft, which is currently being built in co-operation with Europe.

he’s Flying, again?

a journey of A Gerst to the moon would be a reminder of why the man from Künzelsau (Baden-Württemberg), Astronaut of the European space Agency (Esa). His grandfather had taught once as an Amateur radio operator antenna into space and let his grandson into the microphone to speak. The radio waves had traveled to the moon, and as the Echo came back, told Gerst. “So a part of me was for me six-year-olds on the moon.”


How will it go with the record-room driver, the head of the ISS, at last, even as a commander? “He is a member of the Esa astronaut Corps in this respect, the possibility of another flight is a given,” says Europe’s space chief Jan Wörner.

Also head of mission Volker Schmid from the German center for air and space travel (DLR) says: “I’m going to assume that he’s flying again.” It is the third trip would be Gersts into the All – so much cosmic experience only Ulf Merbold between 1983 and 1994, collected in Germany.

“Can’t breathe”

The return from the space station to earth using the Soyuz space capsule as technically demanding. After uncoupling the capsule grid is initially unchecked in the atmosphere, the air friction creates temperatures of about 2500 degrees. Massive forces are Gerst and his two returnees Serena Auñón-Chancellor (USA) and Sergey Prokopyev (Russia) in the seats presses.

“I can hardly breathe because my tongue is so strongly pressed to the palate,” said Gerst in 2014, his return flight from his first ISS Mission.

About six hours after Undocking should land the capsule on early Thursday morning in the treeless Expanse of Central Asia. Already in the evening Gerst is located in Cologne. Until then, his E-Mail box sends an automatic reply: “I’m on a business trip in the earth’s orbit. Please try it in a friendly way, in January of 2019.”

By Wolfgang Jung, dpa/boj

Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.