Cologne (dpa) – Astronaut Alexander Gerst (42) is not only the first German commander of the ISS International Space Station, as of Saturday 8 December he will also be the German with the longest space practice.
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Counting his two space missions together, Gerst spent 351 days in space on Saturday, according to the German Aerospace Center (DLR). With this, he breaks the previous record of his colleague Thomas Reiter, who had been in space for 350 days, said DLR spokesman Andreas Schütz.
Gerst is therefore the oldest astronaut within the European Space Agency Esa. However, some Russians and Americans have been in space for more than twice as long.
“I am very happy for Alex, especially because I know how much work, effort and persistence it takes to spend so long in orbit,” said Reiter of the German news agency. “His work as a scientist, flight engineer and commander is now inextricably linked with the history of the ISS. It is not only us European astronauts and cosmonauts who can be proud of this.
It’s still unclear if Gerst will tweet anything about his file. As with his first mission in 2014, the astronaut shares his Twitter followers with his time in space – with impressive images of Earth and work on the ISS. Gerst left for the ISS on June 6. His return to Earth is scheduled for December 20.
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