Die Astronautin


Die Astronautin
FormationMarch 2016
FounderHE Space
PurposeSTEM outreach, private Astronaut program

Die Astronautin is a private German human spaceflight program with the goal of sending the first German woman into space, on a short-duration flight to the International Space Station by 2021.[1] The program was launched by a German aerospace company called HE Space in March 2016 and sent out a call for Germany woman to apply for a flight to the ISS, the flight will be mainly funded by donors and voluntary financial aid and so far does not receive any funding from the German government.[2]


When the project was first established, they planned for the first flight of a female German astronaut to occur by 2020, although has been pushed back to mid-2021. The mission could take place on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft or one of two Commercial Crew Vehicles, either SpaceX's Crew Dragon or Boeing's CST-100 Starliner spacecraft. In October 2018 the project signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Axiom Space regarding astronaut training and flight opportunities, this could lead to the flight occurring on a SpaceX Crew Dragon flight contracted by Axiom.[3]

Die Astronautin currently has selected 2 astronaut candidates, of those two one will be selected to fly the mission with the second serving as her backup, it is unclear if they plan for missions in the future.


The program put out the call for astronauts in March 2016, they received over 400 applications from German woman aged between 27 and 37, coming from STEM, military and other aviation backgrounds, by April they had narrowed the original 400 down to 120 candidates.[4] One of the applicants who made it to the final 30 candidates was Austrian-German airline pilot Johanna Maislinger, who is now a client of the American Space tourism company Space Adventures, and is a candidate spaceflight participant for the joint Space Adventures-Roscosmos Soyuz MS-20 mission in December 2021.

One year after the original call for applicants, the project announced the final six candidates who had been picked from the original pool of 400. The six finalist included a fighter pilot, a meteorologist and four engineers.[5][6]

Final selection

The next month the project announced their final two candidates, one of whom would fly the mission with the other acting as her backup. After over a year of selection the Thiele-Eich and Baumann were selected from the original pool of 400 candidates,[7] in August 2017 the two traveled to Star City, Russia for their first round of training, which included Parabolic flight "Zero-G" training, medical training, Russian language, Thiele-Eich also trained to obtain her pilots license as part of the training, which was not needed for Baumann who was already a professional pilot.[8]

In April 2018, the organisation announced that Baumann had pulled out of training with the project, her replacement was Dr. Suzanna Randall, who was one of the original six finalists.


  1. ^ "Home". Die Astronautin.
  2. ^ "FAQ".
  3. ^ "Astronautin and AXIOM sign Memorandum of Understanding for Astronaut Training and Mission to ISS". October 2, 2018.
  4. ^ "What an incredible rush of applicants ..." April 1, 2016.
  5. ^ "Private pick for Germany's first woman in space includes second-gen astronaut | collectSPACE". collectSPACE.com.
  6. ^ "The six finalists". March 1, 2017.
  7. ^ "The astronauts: Two female candidates made it through the selection process". April 19, 2017.
  8. ^ "German astronaut trainees complete first parabolic flights". August 16, 2017.