ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer will soon be launched to the International Space Station for his first mission, ‘Cosmic Kiss’. Tune in to ESA Web TV from 9:00 CEST (8:00 BST) to 10:00 CEST (9:00 BST) Thursday 9 September to watch his pre-launch news conference and learn what awaits him in orbit.
Matthias selected the name ‘Cosmic Kiss’ for his mission as a declaration of love for space. It communicates the special connection the Station provides between Earth’s inhabitants and the cosmos, and conveys the value of partnership in exploring farther to the Moon and Mars, alongside the need to respect, protect and preserve the nature of our home planet for a sustainable future on Earth.
As a member of US Commercial Crew-3, he will be launched in a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft alongside NASA astronauts Thomas Marshburn, Raja Chari and Kayla Barron.
Matthias is expected to spend six months living and working on the orbital outpost where he will support over 35 European and numerous international experiments in microgravity. Knowledge gained as a result of this mission will shape the future of space exploration and help enhance life on Earth.
At the start of Cosmic Kiss, Matthias will have a short crossover with fellow ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet on Station before Thomas returns to Earth with Crew-2 in November. ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti is also scheduled to fly her second space mission, as a member of Crew-4, no earlier than 15 April 2022.
Matthias’s Cosmic Kiss news conference will take place at ESA’s European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany, with media present both onsite and online. Please note, only registered media will have access to ask questions of Matthias and the panelists, though everyone may watch the event live on ESA Web TV Two.
This event will be held in English and German and include presentations by ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher and ESA Director Human and Robotic Exploration David Parker, both of whom will join remotely, as well as ESA International Space Station Programme Manager and Head of EAC Frank De Winne, and Director General of the German Space Agency at DLR Walther Pelzer.