Horizons mission – docking and hatch opening highlights

After orbiting Earth 34 times to catch up to the International Space Station, the car-sized spacecraft carrying ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst, NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Roscosmos commander Sergei Prokopyev, arrived at the Station two days after launch.

The German astronaut is a returning visitor to the International Space Station, the first of ESA’s 2009 class of astronauts to be sent into space for a second time. During the second part of his mission Alexander will take over as commander of the International Space Station, only the second time an ESA astronaut will take on this role so far.

The mission is called Horizons as a symbol for the unknown and what lies beyond – reflecting on ESA’s strategy to extend human and robotic exploration beyond Earth orbit. While in space, Alexander will work on over 50 European experiments, including testing ways of operating and working with robots to develop techniques required for further human and robotic exploration of our Solar System.

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Horizons mission – preparations to liftoff

Going to space is not an easy thing.

Here are the highlights of the preparations and liftoff for the Horizons mission with ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst.

At 11:12 GMT (13:12 CEST) on 6 June 2018, Alexander was launched into space alongside NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Roscosmos commander Sergei Prokopyev in the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft from Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

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Horizons mission – liftoff replay

At 11:12 GMT (13:12 CEST), 6 June 2018, ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst was launched into space alongside NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Roscosmos commander Sergei Prokopyev in the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft from Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

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Follow Alexander and the Horizons mission on social media via bit.ly/AlexanderGerstESA and on bit.ly/HorizonsBlogESA.