of the Soyuz TMA TS and ISS VC,
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
In 1976 he was discharged from Naval Service and entered Ludwig-Maximilians
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.
Based on the ESA site data and Cosmonautics News Journal.