Aachen and space

A German in space: former RWTH Aachen University PhD student Matthias Maurer on his first space flight.

Astronaut Matthias Maurer did his doctorate at the Institute for Surface Technology at RWTH Aachen University from 1999 to 2004, receiving several prizes for his work on “Aluminium-foam sprayed layer composites for lightweight construction”. Since then, a lot has happened: in 2008, he submitted his first application to become an astronaut with the European Space Agency. From 2010 on, he then worked as a support engineer for the ESA in Cologne and became a member of the European Astronaut Corps in 2017. And now, finally, the countdown’s on for his trip to the International Space Station, ISS.

Reaching for the stars
Maurer’s first space flight was supposed to take off on 31 October 2021, but had to be cancelled due to bad weather conditions. Now the wait is over, and Matthias Maurer will be reaching for the stars on board the Crew Dragon, as part of the six-month ISS mission “Cosmic Kiss”.

Aachen and space seem to have an inseparable connection to each other. Not only do Aachen graduates make regular trips up into orbit; our beautiful city can even be recognised from up there! Retired astronaut Hans Schlegel was in orbit in 2008 and managed to spot Aachen. How?

See for yourself on ZDF’s Morgenmagazin:  Warten auf den Start zur ISS – ZDFheute (available only in German)