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Thomas Reiter

Thomas Reiter

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Thomas Arthur Reiter is a retired European
European Space Agency
The European Space Agency , established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organisation dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 18 member states...

 astronaut
Astronaut
An astronaut or cosmonaut is a person trained by a human spaceflight program to command, pilot, or serve as a crew member of a spacecraft....

 and is a Brigadier General
Brigadier General
Brigadier general is a senior rank in the armed forces. It is the lowest ranking general officer in some countries, usually sitting between the ranks of colonel and major general. When appointed to a field command, a brigadier general is typically in command of a brigade consisting of around 4,000...

 in the Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe is a generic German term for an air force. It is also the official name for two of the four historic German air forces, the Wehrmacht air arm founded in 1935 and disbanded in 1946; and the current Bundeswehr air arm founded in 1956....

 currently working as Director of Human Spaceflight and Operations at the European Space Agency
European Space Agency
The European Space Agency , established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organisation dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 18 member states...

 (ESA). , he was one of the top 25 astronauts in terms of total time in space. With his wife and two sons he lives in Wahnbek (near Oldenburg) in Lower Saxony.

Education


In 1982, Reiter received his diploma
Diploma
A diploma is a certificate or deed issued by an educational institution, such as a university, that testifies that the recipient has successfully completed a particular course of study or confers an academic degree. In countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia, the word diploma refers to...

 in aerospace engineering
Aerospace engineering
Aerospace engineering is the primary branch of engineering concerned with the design, construction and science of aircraft and spacecraft. It is divided into two major and overlapping branches: aeronautical engineering and astronautical engineering...

 from the Bundeswehr University Munich. In 2010 the university awarded him an honorary doctoral degree. He completed his training as a pilot
Aviator
An aviator is a person who flies an aircraft. The first recorded use of the term was in 1887, as a variation of 'aviation', from the Latin avis , coined in 1863 by G. de la Landelle in Aviation Ou Navigation AĆ©rienne...

 in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 and Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

.

Astronaut career


He served as an onboard engineer for the Euromir 95/Soyuz TM-22
Soyuz TM-22
-Crew:-Mission highlights:23rd expedition to Mir.Soyuz TM-22 was a Russian transport spacecraft that transported cosmonauts to the Mir space station for a 135-day stay. It was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome and docked on September 5, 1995 with Mir's Kvant-2 module at the port that was...

 mission to the Mir
Mir
Mir was a space station operated in low Earth orbit from 1986 to 2001, at first by the Soviet Union and then by Russia. Assembled in orbit from 1986 to 1996, Mir was the first modular space station and had a greater mass than that of any previous spacecraft, holding the record for the...

 space station
Space station
A space station is a spacecraft capable of supporting a crew which is designed to remain in space for an extended period of time, and to which other spacecraft can dock. A space station is distinguished from other spacecraft used for human spaceflight by its lack of major propulsion or landing...

. During his 179 days aboard Mir, he carried out two EVAs
Extra-vehicular activity
Extra-vehicular activity is work done by an astronaut away from the Earth, and outside of a spacecraft. The term most commonly applies to an EVA made outside a craft orbiting Earth , but also applies to an EVA made on the surface of the Moon...

 and became the first German astronaut to perform a spacewalk.

Between 1996 and 1997, he underwent additional training on the Soyuz spacecraft
Soyuz spacecraft
Soyuz , Union) is a series of spacecraft initially designed for the Soviet space programme by the Korolyov Design Bureau in the 1960s, and still in service today...

 and was awarded a "Soyuz Return Commander" certificate, qualifying him to command a three-person Soyuz crew during its return from space.

He trained for a six-month mission to the International Space Station
International Space Station
The International Space Station is a habitable, artificial satellite in low Earth orbit. The ISS follows the Salyut, Almaz, Cosmos, Skylab, and Mir space stations, as the 11th space station launched, not including the Genesis I and II prototypes...

 and was launched on the Discovery
Space Shuttle Discovery
Space Shuttle Discovery is one of the retired orbiters of the Space Shuttle program of NASA, the space agency of the United States, and was operational from its maiden flight, STS-41-D on August 30, 1984, until its final landing during STS-133 on March 9, 2011...

 STS-121
STS-121
STS-121 was a space shuttle mission to the International Space Station flown by Space Shuttle Discovery. The main purposes of the mission were to test new safety and repair techniques introduced following the Columbia disaster of February 2003 as well as to deliver supplies, equipment and...

 mission to join Expedition 13
Expedition 13
Expedition 13 was the 13th expedition to the International Space Station , and launched at 02:30 UTC on 30 March 2006. The expedition used the Soyuz TMA-8 spacecraft, which stayed at the station for the duration of the expedition for emergency evacuation....

. The launch date was set for 1 July 2006, but was moved to 2 July, and finally launched on 4 July 2006 due to weather delays. Discovery departed 15 July, leaving Reiter behind with Expedition 13. He later became part of Expedition 14
Expedition 14
Expedition 14 was the 14th expedition to the International Space Station . Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria, and flight engineer Mikhail Tyurin launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome on 18 September 2006, 04:09 UTC, aboard Soyuz TMA-9. They joined Thomas Reiter, who had arrived at the ISS on 6 July 2006...

 before returning to Earth aboard Discovery
Space Shuttle Discovery
Space Shuttle Discovery is one of the retired orbiters of the Space Shuttle program of NASA, the space agency of the United States, and was operational from its maiden flight, STS-41-D on August 30, 1984, until its final landing during STS-133 on March 9, 2011...

 during the STS-116
STS-116
-Crew notes:Originally this mission was to carry the Expedition 8 crew to the ISS. The original crew was to be:-Mission highlights:* The STS-116 mission delivered and attached the International Space Station's third port truss segment, the P5 truss....

 mission.

His ISS mission was designated Astrolab by the European Space Agency.

Reiter has logged just over 350 days in space, the most by any non-American or non-Russian.

On August 8, 2007 Thomas Reiter was named a member of DLR
German Aerospace Center
The German Aerospace Center is the national centre for aerospace, energy and transportation research of the Federal Republic of Germany. It has multiple locations throughout Germany. Its headquarters are located in Cologne. It is engaged in a wide range of research and development projects in...

's executive board.

On March 17, 2011 he was appointed ESA's Director of Human Spaceflight and Operations, responsible for all manned and unmanned mission operations. This includes the operation and exploitation of the European International Space Station elements, ESA's Autonomous Transfer Vehicle, the responsibility for the European Astronaut Centre, EAC, and ESA's unmanned missions and ground-based mission infrastructure.

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