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By Barbara Warmbein; European Space Agency

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During the German-Russian MIR-’97 mission he served as a Crew Interface Communicator (Capcom) in the German Mission Control Centre for the experiments. Current Assignment In August 1998, ESA sent him to the Johnson Space Center for training as a Mission Specialist with the NASA Astronaut Class of 1998. Since January 2003, in addition to training, he has also been assigned to the Capcom branch of the Astronaut Office in Houston, where he is responsible for the ground-to-space communication with the ISS crew.

The Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) was dedicated to the first three-dimensional, digital mapping of the Earth’s surface on a nearglobal scale. He was responsible for SRTM operations, including the deployment and retraction of the 60 m boom from Endeavour's cargo bay that carried one of the flight's radar systems. He was also one of two spacewalking crew members, in the event a contingency spacewalk was necessary. Current Assignment Following his 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 why human presence is essential to carry out experiments, especially in such a unique and relatively new environment as weightlessness. Hans Schlegel Born 3 August 1951 in Überlingen, Germany. Education Hans Schlegel spent the academic year 1968/1969 in the US as an American Field Service (AFS) exchange student and graduated from Lewis Central High School, Council Bluffs, Iowa. In 1970 he graduated from Hansa Gymnasium at Cologne, Germany. In 1979 he received a Diploma in Physics (Master of Physics) from the University of Aachen, Germany.

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A case for humans in space : the European astronauts by Barbara Warmbein; European Space Agency

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