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Gerhard THIELE

ESA Astronaut, FRG

DATE AND PLACE OF BIRTH: September 2, 1953, in Heidenheim-Brenz, Baden-Wurttemberg, FRG. He considers Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, to be his hometown.

EDUCATION: From 1976 to 1982 he studied physics at Ludwig-Maximilians Universitat in Munich and at Ruprecht-Karls-Universitat in Heidelberg. In 1978 he received a Master of Science (physics) at Ludwig-Maximilians Universitat in Munich and in 1985 he received a Doctorate at the Institute for Environmental Physics of Heidelberg Universitat.

FAMILY STATUS: Married, has four children.

Member of Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (German Physical Society), American Geophysical Union, Weltraumforum Aachen at Rheinisch-Westfalische Technische Hochschule, Aachen and Member of the IAA (International Academy of Astronautics) Subcommittee on Lunar and Mars Development.

Federal Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, 1-st class (1993). Medal of Merit of Baden-Wurttemberg (2001), NASA Space Flight Medal (2000), American Astronautical Society Flight Achievement Award (2000) with STS-99 crew.

HOBBY: Cooking, music, reading and sports, especially badminton. He enjoys spending time with his family.

In 1972 upon finishing school Thiele was called up and served with the navy of the German Federal Armed Forces for four years.
From 1974 to 1976 he served as the combat unit officer aboard patrol boat S-148.
In 1976 he was discharged from Naval Service and entered Ludwig-Maximilians in Munich.
In 1978 he was transferred to Ruprecht-Karls-Universitat (Heidelberg) where he studied till 1982.
From 1972 to 1976 he served with the navy of the German Federal Armed Forces as operations/weapons officer aboard fast patrol boats.
From 1982 he worked on his doctoral thesis on physics at the Universitat in Heidelberg, which he defended in July 1985. Then till 1987 he was a research scientist at Princeton University. His research activities focused on global ocean circulation and its implications on climate development. He has authored and co-authored publications in the field of geophysics and oceanography as well as psychology.
In August 1987 he was enlisted in the Astronaut Corps of German Aerospace Research Establishment (DLR) where from 1988 to 1990 he passed a course of basic astronaut training.
From October 1990 to April 1993 he trained at the Johnson Space Center, NASA, as back-up payload specialist for a flight onboard the Columbia reusable Shuttle (STS-55) with Spacelab-D2. During the STS-55/Spacelab D-2 Mission (from April 26 to May 6, 1993) Thiele performed the co-ordinator functions for communication with the crew and served as alternate payload specialist in the Payload Operations Control Center of DLR at Oberpfaffenhofen. In 1994, he served with the Strategic Planning Group for the program Director of DLR and in 1995, he was assigned to head the Crew Training Center (CTC) at DLR in Cologne.
Since 1994 he has served as an active member for the International Academy of Astronuatics Subcommittee on Lunar Development.
In 1996-1998 he passed a course of general space training at the Johnson Space Center, NASA, and was qualified as the Shuttle mission specialist.
In August 1998, he was transferred from DLR to the ESA Astronaut Corps based at the European Astronaut Center (AEC) in Cologne, Germany.
He performed his first space flight on February 11-22, 2000 as a mission specialist of the Endeavour Shuttle (STS-99). The main flight task was the radar mapping of the Earth surface. During this mission he was responsible for the scientific equipment operations, including the deployment and retraction of a 60-meter boom from the Endeavour's cargo bay upon which one of the flight's radar systems was mounted.
Thiele was also one of two spacewalking crew members, in the event contingency spacewalk would have been required during the flight. The flight duration was 11 days, 05 hours, 38 minutes, 50 seconds.
Following this flight, Thiele has been assigned by NASA for collateral duties as a CapCOM, the interface in charge of communications, between the Control Center and the Space Shuttle crew. This is the first time that this position has been assigned to a European astronaut.
Since August 2001, Gerhard Thiele is serving as Head of the ESA Astronauts and Operations Unit at the European Astronaut Center (EAC).
In addition, he was acting Head of the Astronaut Division from August 2002 until April 2003.
In January 2003, Gerhard Thiele was assigned as flight engineer in the Soyuz TMA spacecraft backup crew for a flight to the ISS as a member of visiting crew (VC-6).
He is a back-up of Andre Kuipers, Dutch astronaut, ESA.
In May 2003 he started training at Yu.A. Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, Star City, Russia.

August 2003
Based on the ESA site data and Cosmonautics News Journal.

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German Astronaut Gerhard Thiele, mission specialist presenting the European Space Agency during his first space flight onboard the Endeavour Shuttle (STS-99) at a period of February 11-22, 2000.

NASA photo

ISS Crew

Shannon Walker WALKER

leg Novitskiy Novitskiy

Petr Dubrov Dubrov

Mark Vande Hei Vande Hei

Michael Hopkins Hopkins

Victor Glover Glover

Soichi Noguchi Noguchi