Time in space
|Selection||2015 ESA Selection|
|Missions||SpaceX Crew-3 (Expedition 66)|
Maurer graduated from Gymnasium WendalinumSankt 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.in
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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, which would make him the twelfth German astronaut after Alexander Gerst in 2018. On 14 December 2020, ESA announced a competition to name Maurer's mission; the winner would be announced in summer 2020 and will receive a signed mission patch flown to the ISS by Matthias. Prior to his mission assignment, Matthias was based at ESA’s Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany where he was project managing the development of a new ESA Moon simulation facility known as Luna.
On December 14, 2020, Maurer was officially assigned to the SpaceX Crew-3 mission, which will launch on 30 October 2021. He is travelling to the International Space Station alongside NASA astronauts Raja Chari, who is commanding the Crew Dragon, Thomas Marshburn, as the pilot, and mission specialist Kayla Barron. Once on board the station, they will join Expedition 66. A few hours before the announcement, Maurer revealed his second mission name as Cosmic Kiss, after Nebra sky disk, the oldest known realistic illustration of the night sky.
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