Thomas Reiter bigraphy, stories - Astronauts

Thomas Reiter : biography

23 May 1958 -

Thomas Arthur Reiter (born 23 May 1958 in Frankfurt, Germany) is a retired European astronaut and is a Brigadier General (german) in the German Air Force currently working as Director of Human Spaceflight and Operations at the European Space Agency (ESA). Thomas Reiter appointed Director of Human Spaceflight at ESA , he was one of the top 25 astronauts in terms of total time in space. With his wife and two sons he lives in Wahnbek (near Oldenburg) in Lower Saxony.

Honours and awards

  • Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (2007)
  • Bavarian Medal Europe (2008)
  • Honorary doctorate of the Faculty of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Bundeswehr University Munich (28 June 2010)
  • Order of Friendship (Russia, 1996)
  • Medal "For Merit in Space Exploration" (Russia, 12 April 2011) - for outstanding contribution to the development of international cooperation in manned space flight

Astronaut career

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 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.

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. 

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

Reiter has logged just over 350 days in space, the most by any non-American or non-Russian.

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

On 17 March 2011 he was appointed ESA's Director of Human Spaceflight and Operations, responsible for all manned and unmanned mission operations. This includes the operation and exploitation of the European International Space Station elements, ESA's Autonomous Transfer Vehicle, the responsibility for the European Astronaut Centre, EAC, and ESA's unmanned missions and ground-based mission infrastructure.


In 1982, Reiter received his diploma in aerospace engineering from the Bundeswehr University Munich. In 2010 the university awarded him an honorary doctoral degree. He completed his training as a pilot in Germany and Texas.


Category:1958 births Category:Living people Category:People from Frankfurt Category:German astronauts Category:People from Lower Saxony Category:European amateur radio operators Category:Crew members of the International Space Station Category:Recipients of the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany Category:Recipients of the Order of Friendship Category:Recipients of the Medal For Merit in Space Exploration Category:Bundeswehr University Munich alumni

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Living octopus

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