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ESA Top Multimedia

Samantha monitors Astrobee robotic free-flyers

Samantha monitors Astrobee robotic free-flyers

ESA astronauts Samantha Cristoforetti and Matthias Maurer

Samantha and Matthias with a SpaceX spacesuit in orbit

Peek-a-boo Moon

Lunar eclipse captured by Samantha Cristoforetti aboard the International Space Station

News Conference with ESA Astronaut Matthias Maurer (in German)

After almost six months of living and working on board the International Space Station, Matthias Maurer is back on Earth - and gives his first news conference in Europe.

Watch the replay of this live Q&A (mostly in German language) between Matthias and the press, taking place at the ESA’s European Astronaut Centre (EAC) in Cologne, Germany.

Matthias returns to Cologne

Matthias returns to Cologne

Return highlights | Cosmic Kiss

The Crew Dragon capsule carrying ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer and NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Thomas Marshburn and Kayla Barron home from the International Space Station splashed down off the coast of Florida, USA, on Friday 6 May 2022 at 05:43 BST/06:43 CEST.

Its return marks the end of Crew-3’s almost six-month stay in orbit and the end of Matthias’s first mission, known as Cosmic Kiss.

Crew-3 undocked from the International Space Station in Crew Dragon spacecraft Endurance at 06:20 BST/07:20 CEST Thursday 5 May. When a Crew capsule splashes down, it is met by nearby ships with experts ready to bring it on board, open the hatch, and welcome the astronauts home.

After initial medical checks, the crew is transported by helicopter to shore. Now that his mission has come to an end, Matthias will return to ESA’s European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany, where he will participate in post-flight debriefings, provide samples for scientific evaluation and readapt to Earth’s gravity with the support of ESA experts.

More info on Cosmic Kiss here.

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Crew-3 splashdown | Cosmic Kiss

The Crew Dragon capsule carrying ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer and NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Thomas Marshburn and Kayla Barron home from the International Space Station splashed down off the coast of Florida, USA, on Friday 6 May 2022 at 05:43 BST/06:43 CEST.

Its return marks the end of Crew-3’s almost six-month stay in orbit and the end of Matthias’s first mission, known as Cosmic Kiss.

Crew-3 undocked from the International Space Station in Crew Dragon spacecraft Endurance at 06:20 BST/07:20 CEST Thursday 5 May.

When a Crew capsule splashes down, it is met by nearby ships with experts ready to bring it on board, open the hatch, and welcome the astronauts home. After initial medical checks, the crew is transported by helicopter to shore.

Now that his mission has come to an end, Matthias will return to ESA’s European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany, where he will participate in post-flight debriefings, provide samples for scientific evaluation and readapt to Earth’s gravity with the support of ESA experts.

More info on Cosmic Kiss here.

Mission Minerva meets Cosmic Kiss | Two astronauts in orbit

For the first time since mid 2011, ESA has two astronauts living and working together aboard the International Space Station. Watch a conversation between Samantha Cristoforetti and Matthias Maurer in this rare moment for Europe in space.

The astronauts’ meeting marks a brief crossover between the start of Samantha’s second space mission, Minerva, and Matthias’s final days in orbit for his first mission, Cosmic Kiss.

Samantha arrived with Crew-4 on 28 April in SpaceX Crew Dragon Freedom, while Matthias will depart with Crew-3 in SpaceX Crew Dragon Endurance in May after almost six months on the Station.

In this video Matthias is impressed by Samantha’s floating ability and says it’s like she never left. Samantha confirms weightless was the thing she missed the most on Earth and talks about the differences on Station since her Italian Space Agency ASI-sponsored Futura mission in 2014-15.

Matthias is pleased with what he’s achieved in his time on Station, including the science he’s supported and the spacewalk he performed. He wishes Samantha all the best for her mission as she wishes him a safe return to Earth.

For more about Matthias and his Cosmic Kiss mission, visit the ESA mission web page. You can also learn more about Samantha and her Minerva mission on the ESA site.   

Inflight call with Samantha and Matthias

ESA astronauts Samantha Cristoforetti and Matthias Maurer, currently on board the International Space Station, discuss their brief handover with Josef Aschbacher, Director General of ESA, Walther Pelzer, Head of the German Space Agency at DLR, and Giorgio Saccoccia, Head of the Italian Space Agency ASI.

Samantha arrived at the Station with Crew-4 on 28 April 2022, marking the start of her second space mission Minerva. Matthias is coming to the end of his almost six-month-long first mission Cosmic Kiss. He is expected to return to Earth in early May aboard Crew Dragon Endurance as a member of Crew-3.

Find out more about the Cosmic Kiss and Minerva missions on the ESA mission web pages.

Spacesuit waltz | Cosmic Kiss

Join ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer, and his Crew-3 mates NASA astronauts Kayla Barron, Raja Chari and Thomas Marshburn, as they check out their Crew Dragon launch and entry suits before they return to Earth.

The spacesuits are custom-made for each crew member and protect the astronauts from potential fire and depressurisation in the crew capsule. A single connection point on the thigh, connects the spacesuits to the life support system that supplies the astronauts with oxygen and power, as well as cooling and communication systems.

The suits are equipped with touchscreen-compatible gloves and a flame-resistant outer layer and can provide pressurisation with a controlled environment for the crew in the event of cabin depressurisation. The helmets are custom manufactured using 3D-printing technology and equipped with integrated valves, visor retraction and locking mechanisms, as well as microphones.

Crew-3 was launched to the Space Station on 11 November 2021 and will have spent approximately six months living and working in orbit before a planned splashdown off the coast of Florida, USA, in early May.

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ISS Reboost | Cosmic Kiss

Get in line with ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer and his Expedition 66 crew mates to experience a reboost of the International Space Station from the inside. This video is sped up 8 times fast.

The International Space Station flies around Earth at around 400 km. It is reboosted periodically to maintain its orbit and overcome the effects of atmospheric drag created by molecules of the atmosphere, which causes the Station to lose about 100 m of altitude per day.

A Space Station reboost maneuver also optimizes phasing for future visiting vehicles arriving at the station. In March 2022 the ISS performed a reboost using Russia’s ISS Progress 79 cargo craft. By firing its engines for several minutes, the station was put at the proper altitude for a crew ship orbit rendezvous and landing operations.

During the manoeuvre, the astronauts inside the station keep flying at the same speed and direction. While it seems like the astronauts are moving inside the station, it is in fact the ISS that gets the boost and is moving around them.

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Cosmic Kiss mission overview

German ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer has almost completed his first stay aboard the International Space Station ISS.

Named Cosmic Kiss, the mission began with the third crewed launch of the SpaceX Crew Dragon on 11 November 2021 when Matthias flew to the ISS alongside @NASA astronauts Kayla Barron, Raja Chari and Tom Marshburn, collectively known as Crew-3.

Matthias has now spent around six months in orbit, working on over 35 European and many more international science experiments and taking part in operational procedures. He has also become the 12th ESA astronaut to conduct a spacewalk, or Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA).

Shortly before the end of his mission, Matthias could also welcome fellow ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti aboard the Space Station, who launched on 28 April as part of Crew-4 and will continue the common journey for Europe in space.

More info on Cosmic Kiss.

This A&B Roll provides a summary of the Cosmic Kiss Mission, which will end shortly with Matthias Maurer’s return to Earth.

Matthias's first spacewalk | Cosmic Kiss

English Matthias's first spacewalk | Cosmic Kiss

On 23 March 2022, ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer successfully performed his first extravehicular activity (EVA) alongside fellow NASA astronaut Raja Chari. The spacewalk, dubbed "US EVA 80", was carried out in support of assembly, refurbishment and maintenance work on the International Space Station.

In this video, Matthias Maurer answers questions and reports on his experiences, feelings and the challenges he faced during his almost seven-hour-long spacewalk.

During his Cosmic Kiss mission, Matthias Maurer will live and work aboard the International Space Station for approximately six months, conducting and supporting more than 35 European and numerous other international experiments in orbit.

More info on Cosmic Kiss here.

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German Matthias‘ erster Außenbordeinsatz | Cosmic Kiss

Am 23. März führte ESA-Astronaut Matthias Maurer an der Seite seines NASA-Astronautenkollegen Raja Chari erfolgreich seinen ersten Außenbordeinsatz durch. Der als „US EVA 80“ (EVA – extravehicular activity) betitelte Außenbordeinsatz wurde zur Unterstützung von Montage-, Modernisierungs- und Wartungsarbeiten an der Internationalen Raumstation ISS durchgeführt.

Dazu beantwortet Matthias Maurer in diesem Video verschiedene Fragen und berichtet von seinen Erlebnissen, Gefühlen und den Herausforderungen, vor denen er bei dem fast siebenstündigen Außenbordeinsatz gestanden hat.

Während seiner Cosmic Kiss-Mission wird Matthias Maurer voraussichtlich sechs Monate lang auf der ISS leben und forschen und mehr als 35 europäische und zahlreiche weitere internationale Experimente durchführen und unterstützen.

Weitere Infos zu Cosmic Kiss (auf Englisch) hier.

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An astronaut awakes | Cosmic Kiss

ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer gives a glimpse into his morning routine aboard the International Space Station during his Cosmic Kiss mission.

Matthias’s crew quarters, known as CASA (short for Crew Alternate Sleep Accommodation), is located within the European Columbus science laboratory module. The glowing pink light of this module comes from NASA’s Veggie facility, where astronauts help researchers study plant growth in microgravity.

Each astronaut aboard the Space Station has their own crew quarter. No larger than a changing room, this is their bedroom in space where they can store personal items, use a laptop to contact friends and family and float to sleep in their sleeping bag.

For out more about Matthias and his Cosmic Kiss mission visit https://www.esa.int/Cosmic_kiss

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