Matthias Maurer
File:Matthias Maurer in EAC trainig hall.jpeg
Born (1970-03-18) 18 March 1970 (age 54)
OccupationMaterials scientist
Space career
ESA astronaut
Current occupation
Time in space
Selection2015 ESA Selection
MissionsSpaceX Crew-3(Expedition 66/67)
Mission insignia
File:Cosmic Kiss mission patch for European portion of SpaceX Crew-3.jpg

Matthias Josef Maurer (born 18 March 1970 in St. Wendel, Saarland) is a German European Space Agency astronaut and materials scientist, who was selected in 2015 to take part in space training.


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Maurer graduated from Gymnasium Wendalinum [de] in Sankt Wendel, Saarland, in 1989. He then began his compulsory civilian service as a paramedic with the Malteser Emergency Service. Afterwards he studied materials science and technology at Saarland University in Saarbrücken, Germany, the EEIGM (École européenne d'ingénieurs en génie des matériaux, "European School for Materials Technology", part of the Université de Lorraine) in Nancy, France, the University of Leeds, UK, and at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya) in Barcelona, Spain. From 1999 to 2004, Maurer completed his doctorate at the Institute of Materials Sciences of the RWTH Aachen University, Germany, where he received his engineering doctorate degree Dr.-Ing. His dissertation entitled "Lightweight composites made of aluminium foam with thermally sprayed coatings" won him several scientific prizes. After completing his doctorate, Maurer undertook a long-term trip around the world. In 2006, Maurer successfully completed an additional course of study in economics at the University of Hagen with a MBA management degree.

Maurer holds several patents in the field of materials science and materials engineering. He is fluent in four languages (German, English, Spanish, French) and as part of his astronaut training, he is also taking intensive language training in Russian and Chinese.

Astronaut career

Maurer applied to the European Space Agency as an astronaut in 2008 with almost 8500 other candidates and was one of ten to pass the selection procedure, but was not initially appointed to the European Astronaut Corps. In 2010 he started working for the European Space Agency as a crew support engineer and eurocom for the Columbus flight control team at the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) in Cologne, Germany. Before he formally joined the European Astronaut Corps in July 2015, Maurer took a lead role in ESA Astronaut Centre projects to prepare for future spaceflight and lunar operations with new international partners and extend the Agency's human exploration expertise beyond the International Space Station.[1]

In 2014, he took part in the ESA Cooperative Adventure for Valuing and Exercising Human Behaviour and Performance Skills program and in 2016 he was part of the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations 21 analog mission, an underwater training programme for future ISS crews in Florida.[2] In March 2018, he gained certification to perform International Space Station-related spacewalks in the American spacesuit EMU. In 2018 he also successfully graduated from both basic astronaut training and pre-assignment training and thus became fully certified to go to space.[3]

On 12 May 2020 he arrived at the Johnson Space Center in Texas alongside ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov, Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, Oleg Novitsky and Pyotr Dubrov for training amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.[4]

Expedition 66/67

On 28 July 2020, Maurer was announced as a backup crew member for Thomas Pesquet on SpaceX Crew-2. His own flight is scheduled to take place no earlier than October 2021 aboard SpaceX Crew-3,[5][6] which would make him the twelfth German astronaut after Alexander Gerst in 2018.

File:Cosmic Kiss mission patch for European portion of SpaceX Crew-3.jpg

On 29 April 2020, ESA announced a competition to name Thomas's mission, the winner will be announced in summer 2020 and will receive a signed mission patch flown to the ISS by Pesquet.[7]

On July 28, 2020, Maurer was officially assigned to the SpaceX Crew-3 mission, which launched on 23 October 2021. He is travelling to the International Space Station alongside NASA astronauts Taja Chari, who is commanding the Crew Dragon, [[]], as the pilot, and a yet to be decided fourth astronaut. Once on board the station, they will join the Expedition 66. A few hours before the announcement, Maurer revealed his second mission name as Cosmic Kiss, following the French mission naming tradition.


  1. ^ ESA (August 20, 2020). "Matthias Maurer". ESA.
  2. ^ ESA (January 25, 2017). "Biography of Matthias Maurer (in German)". ESA. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
  3. ^ "Matthias Maurer". ESA.
  4. ^
  5. ^ ESA (August 18, 2020). "Thomas Pesquet first ESA astronaut to ride a Dragon to space". ESA.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Thomas Pesquet's 'Alpha' mission patch - collectSPACE: Messages". Retrieved 2020-08-04.