Dr. Ulf Merbold
German Science Astronaut
Ulf Merbold became the first non-American to fly on the Space Shuttle during the STS-9 mission (28 November to 8 December 1983). In 1984 he was involved in the Space Shuttle Spacelab German D-1 mission, as both back-up Payload Specialist and Crew Interface Coordinator (CIC). Merbold transferred to the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, The Netherlands, in 1986 to support ESA in the planning of Columbus, the European laboratory for the International Space Station.
He was appointed Head of the DLR (German Aerospace Research Establishment) Astronaut Office in 1987 and, on the basis of a secondment to DLR, he led the German astronauts and supported the preparation of the D2 mission. In December 1988 he was nominated as ESA Payload Specialist candidate for the International Microgravity Laboratory mission (IML-1) on the Space Shuttle.
During the second German D2 mission from April 26 to May 6, 1993, Ulf Merbold was Science Coordinator at the Mission Control Centre in Germany.
In August 1993, after preparatory courses at the European Astronaut Centre (EAC), he started training at TsPK (Cosmonauts Training Centre) in Star City near Moscow. He was selected for flight (Crew 1) for ESA's Euromir 94 mission and became the first ESA astronaut to fly on the Russian space station Mir, performing a 32-day mission between 3 October and 4 November, 1994. As Research Cosmonaut, he was responsible for the execution of 28 European experiments.
Merbold holds a commercial pilots licence (CPL2) with Instrument Rating, as well as an Acrobatic licence, and has logged more than 3000 hours as Pilot in Command.
Special Honours: Ulf Merbold has received numerous awards, including the First Class Order of the Federal Republic of Germany, and the Haley Space Flight Award of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He received the Flight Achievement Award of the American Astronautical Society in 1983 and the "Order of Friendship" from President Yeltsin of the Russian Federation in 1995. The following year Ulf Merbold was awarded an honorary doctorate in engineering (Dr.-Ing. h.c.) by the Rheinland-Westfalen Technical University.