ESA Explores

Time and space: ESA’s first astronaut

November 25, 2020

In this episode of our ESA Explores Time and Space series we chat with the first ESA astronaut to fly to space, physicist Ulf Merbold.

Ulf flew on the 9th flight of NASA's Space Shuttle programme and the first flight of European-built Spacelab in 1983. As the first west German to fly to space, he talks us through his experiences – including his relationship with the late Sigmund Jähn, what life was like as first non-US citizen on a NASA spacecraft and how the astronauts and cosmonauts he worked with became like family through the years. 

Additional content:

Find out more about Ulf here:

Watch the NASA/ESA Spacelab documentary here:

NASA Public Affairs Officer Lori Meggs talks about the 30th anniversary of the Spacelab programme with former Marshall Space Flight Center Deputy Director Teresa Vanhooser here: 


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