On the occasion of Alexander Gerst’s launch to the International Space Station ISS, Thomas Jarzombek, Federal Government Coordinator of German Aerospace at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy said:

“We are delighted about Alexander Gerst’s successful take-off. We wish him all the best on his journey through space and for his work on the International Space Station, during which he will also assume special responsibility as the first German ISS commander. We are also looking forward to new and exciting experiments on this mission, because research in space provides impulses for science, industry and young people here on earth. We believe that Germany is very well positioned as we are participating in 41 experiments. For Germany as a centre for high-tech and science, research on the ISS is a worthwhile investment in the future.”

For Alexander Gerst, the "horizons - Knowledge for Tomorrow" mission is the second long-term mission to the ISS. In this science laboratory, around 400 kilometres above the earth, the major space nations are jointly developing solutions to the global challenges for our society, such as health, the environment and climate change. During the “horizons” mission, around 1,000 scientists, engineers and programme managers throughout the country will be working on the 41 German experiments. The topics range from biological and medical experiments to (astro)physics and materials science to technology demonstrations, an experimental programme for children and young people, and industrial and commercial applications. The mission will also be discussed in many schools. Among the European member states, Germany is the most important partner for the other space nations participating in the ISS - the USA, Russia, Japan and Canada.

More information can be found on the German Aerospace Centre special page for the “horizons” mission:www.dlr.de/dlr/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-11015/