Alexander Gerst

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Alexander Gerst
Alexander Gerst, official portrait.jpg
ESA astronaut
Status Active
Born (1976-05-03) 3 May 1976 (age 41)
Künzelsau, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Other occupation
Time in space
165d 08h 01m
Selection 2009 ESA Group
Total EVAs
Total EVA time
6 hours 13 minutes
Missions Soyuz TMA-13M (Expedition 40/41)
Mission insignia
Soyuz-TMA-13M-Mission-Patch.png ISS Expedition 40 Patch.png ISS Expedition 41 Patch.svg
Awards Bernd Rendel-Preis

Dr. Alexander Gerst (born 3 May 1976 in Künzelsau, Baden-Württemberg) is a European Space Agency astronaut and geophysicist, who was selected in 2009 to take part in space training. He was part of the International Space Station crew from May to November 2014.


Gerst studied at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany, where he received a degree in geophysics.[1] He also studied earth science at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, where he was awarded a master of science. He has been working as a researcher since 2005 and received his doctorate in natural sciences at the Institute of Geophysics of the University of Hamburg in 2010, with a dissertation on geophysics and volcanic eruption dynamics. In his spare time, he enjoys mountaineering, diving, climbing and skydiving.

In ESA[edit]

He was officially selected as an astronaut in 2009 by the European Space Agency.[2]

Expedition 40/41[edit]

He visited space as part of the Expedition 40/41 International Space Station crew from May to November 2014.[3][4] On 7 October 2014, Gerst performed his first EVA with Reid Wiseman. The astronauts moved a failed cooling pump from temporary to long-term storage on the station's truss. They also installed a new relay system that will provide backup power options to the mobile transporter, which moves the large robotic arm around the out outside of the space station. The duration of the EVA was 6 hours and 13 minutes.

Gerst pictured during his first EVA

On 10 November 2014 at 03:58 UTC (04:58 CET), he landed back on Earth in the same Soyuz TMA-13M spacecraft that flew him to the International Space Station on 28 May along with Russian commander Maxim Suraev and NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman.

Expedition 56/57[edit]

Gerst will launch for his second tour to the ISS on Soyuz MS-09 in May 2018, as commander of the ISS for Expedition 57.[5][6] He will be the second European Space Agency astronaut to command the station, after Frank de Winne commanded Expedition 21. In May 2017, his mission name and logo were announced, called "Horizons".

In popular culture[edit]

Some of Gerst's background and appearance is incorporated into the character of Alex Vogel, a German astronaut and part of the crew of the Hermes vessel in the 2015 science-fiction film The Martian.[7]


  1. ^ "Alexander Gerst". European Space Agency. 
  2. ^ "ESA prepares for the next generation of human spaceflight and exploration by recruiting a new class of European astronauts". European Space Agency. May 20, 2009. Retrieved February 25, 2010. 
  3. ^ Clark, Stephen. "Mission Status Center". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  4. ^ "Expedition 41 Lands Safely in Kazakhstan". NASA. Retrieved 10 November 2014. 
  5. ^ "Alexander Gerst wird erster deutscher Kommandant im All" (in German). faz. 2016-05-18. Retrieved 2016-05-18. 
  6. ^ Clark, Stephen. "First German commander among astronauts named for station flights". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 19 May 2016. 
  7. ^ Schepers, Andreas (5 August 2015). "The Martian (Film) – augenzwinkernde Hommage an ESA-Astronaut Alexander Gerst" [The Martian (film) - winking tribute to ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst] (blog). (in German). Retrieved 8 July 2017. 

External links[edit]