Status: 11/05/2022 3:26 PM
Six months in space was an experience for German cosmonaut Maurer: he took part in 130 experiments and took care of space tourists. At one point he felt like “Alice in Wonderland”.
A few days after returning to Earth from his first space mission, German astronaut Matthias Maurer spoke more about his time on the International Space Station at a press conference.
Maurer says he’s feeling great right now, apart from a few headaches. It has been found that getting used to gravity is more stressful than weightlessness. He covered the flight from the USA to Cologne right after he landed just right in order to recover a bit.
“Gravity also has advantages, which is that the food stays on the plate,” the astronaut said. In the meantime, he finally ate pizza and other crunchy stuff as well as seasoned Asian food.
Around the world in 90 minutes
Maurer stated that the most beautiful thing about space was the view of the Earth from above. “You can only see the things you learned with numbers before,” the engineer said. “And suddenly the heart understands what is happening there.”
If you circumnavigate the Earth in 90 minutes, you realize that “everything is one unit” and that people have to take responsibility for the planet together.
Astronaut Maurer is back after his stay on the International Space Station
David Zagons, WDR, The Daily News at 2:00 PM, May 11, 2022
Horror at the beginning of the Ukraine war
Maurer said that thanks to news applications, he felt well the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Right after that, there was a certain amount of uncertainty about the International Space Station as to how to deal with this issue.
“Fortunately, it was Russian colleagues who addressed the matter directly,” Maurer said. “Upstairs we were all of the same opinion: we were all shocked and worried about what had happened on the floor, and there was no difference between us.”
Swap rooms on the International Space Station
As a test, Maurer also switched rooms with the Russian cosmonauts. “I had a new room in the Columbus unit,” said Maurer. “The Russian colleagues said I’d like to sleep there too, so let’s exchange rooms.” “And then we did some mutual exchange.”
Maurer has reached mixed conclusions about space tourists’ visits to the International Space Station. Maurer explained that while Japanese space tourist Yusaku Maezawa’s stay in December was “excellent,” the space tourist from the United States needed a lot of help. He got cramped with eight people on the International Space Station.
“In the end we had to support them very strongly, which of course means for us that our work is not done,” Maurer said. There weren’t enough research opportunities for eight people, and enough support from the ground wasn’t possible either. In general, tourists need “simpler and less error-prone infrastructure”.
The future of space travel is “commercial”
At the same time, the space visit of the three businessmen, led by a former astronaut, also had a positive side: “Of course, these space tourists have a completely different network because they come from a different social class,” Maurer said.
The entrepreneurs will also donate a lot of money to research in the private sector. On the International Space Station, astronauts suddenly had access to scientists and experiments “that would not have reached the top so quickly via the classic path of space travel.” He is sure that future space travel will be commercial.
German astronaut Matthias Maurer after returning from the International Space Station.
Such as “Alice in Wonderland” in external use
Maurer returned to Earth on Friday after six months on the International Space Station. The 52-year-old landed with three fellow Americans aboard a Dragon capsule from private space company SpaceX off the coast of Florida and then flew to Germany on an Air Force plane. Maurer was the 600th and twelfth human in space.
Aboard the International Space Station, take part in more than 130 experiments and complete one field mission. “This was actually the best day for the job,” Maurer said. Spacewalking is something completely different than staying on the space station: “I felt like ‘Alice in Wonderland’.”