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First foreign mission: Astronaut Matthias Maurer departs the space station - advisor

First foreign mission: Astronaut Matthias Maurer departs the space station – advisor

Here’s a surprise: German astronaut Matthias Maurer will leave the International Space Station (ISS) next Wednesday on a space mission. Maurer announced this on Twitter. It’s a huge birthday present for him, because Maurer turns 52 on Friday.

Bild explains the dangerous mission in space.


This is the exit hatch through which Matthias Maurer will leave the space station for a spacewalkPhoto: AP/NASA

A spacewalk is the highest honor for an astronaut, but it’s also extremely dangerous, so it’s not just a walk. But Matthias Maurer also practiced this during his many years of training at the European Space Agency and NASA.

Earlier this week, his two American colleagues, NASA astronauts Kayla Barron and Raja Chari, were outside the International Space Station for about seven hours. They had to prepare to install a new solar system. The duo have built an arch on which a futuristic solar array (iROSA) will be installed. This is intended to improve the power supply of the plant in the future. Matthias Maurer directs this field assignment as an insider engineer. Now he got hold of a second outdoor assignment. With Rhea Shari (44) they should go out next Wednesday. Checkout time is 1.50pm CET. The mission should last about 6.5 hours and will be broadcast live by NASA.

During their mission, Shari and Maurer will install hoses on a unit that pass ammonia through the plant’s exothermic radiators to keep the systems at the proper temperature. The two will also install a power and data cable on the Columbus unit’s Bartolomeo science platform, replace an external camera and make other repairs to the station’s hardware. So a complete program.

Last weekend, the three astronauts were checking out their spacewalks. These suits are very complex systems that resemble a small spaceship. They must protect the astronaut from aggressive ultraviolet rays in space and from micrometeorites. It also has air conditioning and communication system.


ESA man Matthias Maurer during one of his many projects on the International Space Station

ESA man Matthias Maurer during one of his many projects on the International Space StationPhoto: European Space Agency

A NASA spokesperson: “Escape is very arduous and requires maximum concentration.”

Italian Luca Parmitano nearly drowned in space when his helmet unexpectedly filled with water. As it turned out later, the culprit was a faulty pump in the space suit’s life support system. According to the officials, this issue has now been resolved. The last German to do a spacewalk was Alex Gerst in October 2014.

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