The German astronaut Alexander Barley is nearing his second space flight. It was "a great honour" to be first German commander to take over International Space station ISS, said barley at end of his training in Kosmonautenausbildungszentrum near Moscow. "When I get it to run our program and to come back as friends, it has become a great mission for me." With his colleagues, Russian Sergei Prokopjew and American Serena Auñón-Chancellor, he was on his way to top.
In his blog, Barley wrote that world's largest space agencies trusted him " most complex and valuable machine that people have ever built." This idea alone fulfills him with awe. At same time, he could "hardly wait" to see station again. She had become "a piece of homeland" for him. "I look forward to moment when hatch rises and I can float through this fascinating miniature world of weightlessness again."
On June 6th, Barley will start its second mission on International Space Station (ISS) from Russian space station in Baikonur. By December he will live and research about 400 kilometers above earth. In second half of mission, Barley will be first German to take command of ISS for three months. In past few weeks, Barley had completed final training in Russian Cosmonaut Training Center near Moscow in preparation.
Alexander Barley was born 1976 in Künzelsau in Baden-Württemberg. He studied geophysics and specialized in volcanology. In 2009 he started his basic training as an astronaut in European Space Agency ESA, 2014 he flew for first time with Russian cosmonaut Maxim Surayev and US astronaut Reid Wiseman to ISS.
At that time he was a board engineer responsible for maintenance of space station and worked on more than one hundred scientific experiments. Among or things, he took electromagnetic Leviator developed by German Aerospace Center (DLR) into operation in order to create and investigate alloys freely floating. In January, n Federal President Joachim Gauck awarded astronauts with Federal Cross of Merit of first class.
Barley is eleventh German in space and third German astronaut on ISS. The first German was GDR cosmonaut Sigmund Jähn. He flew 1978 for eight days to Soviet space station Salyut 6. In November 1983, first German astronaut Ulf Merbold launched a space shuttle to launch space laboratory Spacelab. Merbold was only German to date three times in space. At beginning of 2017 it was announced that Matthias Maurer was admitted to active ESA astronaut Corps.
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