Dr. Alexander Gerst will be the first German to command the ISS (International Space Station)!
This was announced yesterday during a visit German chancellor Angela Merkel made to the European Astronaut Center in Cologne. You can read more about it here on ESA's page.
|Photo nicked from the Deutsche Welle website|
I don't know him personally (although I wish I did), but every impression I've gathered of Dr. Gerst so far has been good. He seems a kind, down-to-earth (pun intended) man with true enthusiasm for everything he does, and a sense of humour as well.
He turned 40 at the beginning of this month - what a special birthday gift it must have felt to receive the nomination as commander! The mission is still two years away (May to November 2018), but I bet Dr. Gerst won't have a minute of boredom until then :-)
Herzlichen Glückwunsch, Herr Dr. Gerst!