Thomas Reiter

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Thomas Arthur Reiter
Reiter STS-121.jpg
Born (1958-05-23) 23 May 1958 (age 63)
OccupationTest pilot
AwardsOrden of Friendship.png GER Bundesverdienstkreuz 4 GrVK.svg Medal For Merit in an Space Exploration (Russia 2010) ribbon.svg
Space career
ESA Astronaut
RankBrigadier General, Luftwaffe (Bundeswehr)
Time in space
350d 05h 44min
Selection1992 ESA Group
MissionsSoyuz TM-22, (Euromir 95), STS-121/116 (Expedition 13/14)
Mission insignia
Soyuz TM-22 patch.png Euromir 95 mission patch.png STS-121 patch.svg ISS Expedition 13 Patch with Reiter.svg ISS Expedition 14 patch.svg STS-116 emblem.svg
RetirementSeptember 30, 2007

Thomas Arthur Reiter (born 23 May 1958 in Frankfurt, West Germany) is a retired European astronaut and is a Brigadier General[1] in the German Air Force currently working as ESA Interagency Coordinator and Advisor to the Director General at the European Space Agency (ESA). He was one of the top 25 astronauts in terms of total time in space. With his wife and two sons he lives near Oldenburg in Lower Saxony.


He graduated from Goethe-High School in Neu-Isenburg in 1977. In 1982, Reiter received his diploma in aerospace engineering from the Bundeswehr University Munich. In 2010 the university awarded him an honorary doctorate degree. He completed his training as a pilot in Germany and Texas.

Astronaut career[edit]

He served as an onboard engineer for the Euromir 95/Soyuz TM-22 mission to the Mir space station. During his 179 days aboard Mir, he carried out two EVAs and became the first German astronaut to perform a spacewalk.

Between 1996 and 1997, he underwent additional training on the Soyuz spacecraft 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 and was launched on the Space Shuttle Discovery STS-121 mission to join Expedition 13. 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.[2] Discovery departed 15 July, leaving Reiter behind with Expedition 13. He later became part of Expedition 14 before returning to Earth aboard Discovery during the STS-116 mission.[3]

His ISS mission was designated Astrolab by the European Space Agency.[4]

On 8 August 2007 Thomas Reiter was named a member of DLR's executive board.

From 1 April 2011 to December 2015 he was Director of Human Spaceflight and Operations at the European Space Agency (ESA), responsible for all crewed and uncrewed mission operations. This included the operation and exploitation of the European International Space Station elements, ESA's Automated Transfer Vehicle, the responsibility for the European Astronaut Centre, EAC, and ESA's uncrewed missions and ground-based mission infrastructure. Today he is working as ESA Interagency Coordinator and Advisor to the Director General.

Honours and awards[edit]


Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  1. ^ Thomas Reiter promoted to brigadier general by Federal Minister of Defence Franz Josef Jung (german)
  2. ^ NASA web site
  3. ^ "Thomas Reiter".
  4. ^ Astrolab
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2014-07-05.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Official website of Danish Astronautical Society

External links[edit]