NASA, ESA Choose Astronauts for SpaceX Crew-3 Mission to Space Station

The members of the SpaceX Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station. Pictured from left are NASA astronauts Raja Chari and Tom Marshburn, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer. (Credits: NASA/ESA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) have selected three astronauts to serve as crew members for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station, which is expected to launch in the fall of 2021.

The trio will consist of NASA astronauts Raja Chari and  Tom Marshburn, who will serve as commander and pilot, respectively, and ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer, who will serve as a mission specialist. A fourth crew member will be added at a later date, following a review by NASA and its international partners.

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ESA Astronaut Matthias Mauer Assigned to SpaceX Crew-3 Mission

ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer (Credit: ESA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer has been assigned to his first flight to the International Space Station during a meeting of representatives from the US, Russian, Japanese, Canadian and European space agencies at the beginning of December.

Matthias’ mission is expected to begin in autumn 2021. He will be the second ESA astronaut to fly under NASA’s Commercial Crew Programme and is expected to be launched from the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA, as part of SpaceX Crew-3, along with NASA astronauts Raja Chari and Thomas H. Marshburn.

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Ready, Set, Go for COVID-conscious Astronaut Training

ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer trains Space Station robotic operations with ESA-developed virtual reality teaching system JIVE at the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) in Cologne, Germany. To ensure a COVID-19-conscious astronaut training, Matthias donned personal protective equipment. (Credit: ESA)

COLOGNE, Germany (ESA PR) — After nearly two months of confinement, it is not only school students who are progressively returning to class. ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer also returned to training at ESA’s European Astronaut Centre (EAC), starting with a slightly unusual robotics refresher.

At the end of April, Matthias donned personal protective equipment and maintained 2 m distance from instructors to participate in a training module that prepares astronauts to operate robotic devices like the Canadarm2 on the International Space Station.

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ESA Astronauts Train with Chinese for Future Space Missions

ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer jumping from a Chinese Shenzou capsule during sea survival training, on 19 August 2017. ESA astronauts. (Credit: ESA–Stephane Corvaja, 2017)

YANTAI, China (ESA PR) — ESA astronauts Samantha Cristoforetti and Matthias Maurer joined 16 Chinese astronauts earlier this month for nine days of sea survival training off China’s coastal city of Yantai. The ultimate goal is for ESA to establish a long term cooperation with China and ESA astronauts to fly on China’s space station.

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New ESA Astronaut Begins Training

Matthias Maurer (Credit: ESA)

COLOGNE, Germany (ESA PR) — Matthias Maurer, from Germany, has started his astronaut training as part of ESA’s astronaut corps.

Matthias was among the 10 finalists in 2009 selection, and is now undergoing basic training at the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany.

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