Did you know that a German astronaut was trained at the ZEISS Planetarium?
Astronauts are required to undergo grueling training before they can even think about journeying into outer space. You’ve probably heard about zero-gravity training and the acceleration test in the human centrifuge – but astronauts have to be just as au fait with astronomy. Spaceships, with their tiny windows, only afford astronauts small glimpses of the night sky.
So when it came to prepping new German astronaut Dr. Matthias Maurer for space travel, staff at the ESA pitched a tent at the ZEISS Planetarium in Bochum that featured two small windows. The highly trained scientist had to use the sections of sky he could see as a guide – which was quite a feat despite his abundant knowledge. His training also saw him embarking on a virtual flight into the solar system.
So Matthias Maurer has already sailed pretty close to the moon – at least as far as his training mission at the ZEISS Planetarium in Bochum is concerned. He was also fortunate enough to visit Mars and other planets in our solar system as part of the simulation, even though he’d have to wait awhile before embarking on a mission like this for real.
During his training, Matthias Maurer completed all his tasks with flying colors. In early February 2017, he was taken on by the ESA Astronaut Corps and completed his basic training at the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) in Cologne. He is set to qualify this year, and perhaps one day soon will find himself floating somewhere in the earth’s orbit or on the moon, where he can put all his newfound knowledge into practice.
5 APR 2017