Born: May 21, 1945 in Reutlingen, Germany
Reutlingen, Germany, 21 May 1945
Married to Gudrun M.
Ernst Messerschmid graduated from Technisches Gymnasium,
Stuttgart, Germany in 1965. He then studied physics at the University of
TÃ¼bingen and Bonn in 1967 to 1972. After graduating, E. Messerschmid worked as
a CERN Fellow (1972-1975) and as a research assistant at the University of
Freiburg/Breisgau where he received his Doctor's degree (1976). His doctoral
thesis was on "Longitudinal Instabilities of Relativistic Proton Beams in
Music, sailing, and outdoor activities such as
As a result of his time at CERN (visiting scientist,
1970; Fellow, 1972-1975), in 1977, E. Messerschmid worked as a researcher at
DESY, Hamburg, when he became interested in space technology and utilisation,
and consequently participated as a German astronaut candidate in the first ESA
astronaut selection campaign. Following this, in 1978, he joined the German
Aerospace Center (DLR) in Oberpfaffenhofen, where he worked in the area of
satellite-based search and rescue communication systems.
In 1983, E. Messerschmid was selected as a science astronaut based at DLR in
Cologne, Germany. After science training conducted at different universities and
industrial laboratories, and after his subsequent flight training at ESA and
NASA, he was assigned as a crewmember of the German Spacelab Mission D1 in 1985.
Since November 1986, Messerschmid has been Professor and Director of the
Space Systems Institute (IRS) at the University of Stuttgart. He held various
high ranking positions as Chairman of a Collaborative Research Center and was
responsible for a variety of research activities at University institutes,
industry and DLR laboratories.
At Stuttgart University, Messerschmid was Dean of the Aerospace faculty from
1990 to 1992 and Vice-President (Provost) from 1996 to 1998.
From 2000 to 2004 E. Messerschmid was Head of the European Astronaut Centre
(EAC), in Cologne, Germany.
Ernst Messerschmid has now left ESA and returned to his Professorship in
Astronautics and Space Stations at the Institute of Space Systems University of
30.10.1985: German Spacelab Mission D1 (7-day spaceflight STS-61A with
Challenger). Experiments in fluid physics, material science, biology, medicine
1988 â€" 1992: Teaching of German (D2, MIR'92 Mission) and ESA
astronauts on Space Systems Engineering, Chairman of Selection Committee for
Since 1990: Teaching at Ecole Nationale Superieure de l'Aeronautique et
de l'Espace, Toulouse and the International Space University ISU Strasbourg on
Space Stations and Platforms.
1989 - 1999: Chairman of Collaborative Research Center (SFB 259) on
High Temperature Problems of Re-usable Space Transportation Systems,
Stuttgart, including 12 institutes from universities, DLR and industry.
1990 - 1992: Dean of Aerospace Faculty, University of Stuttgart; Deputy
in the preceeding and following year.
1994 - 1996: Chairman of Space Segment Advisory Group (SSAG) for ESA
1994 â€" 2000: Member of ESA Space Station Utilization Panel
1995 - 1997: Chairman of DARA (German Space Agency) Advisory Group for
Utilisation of the International Space Station, member of DARA advisory panels
on Space Transportation Systems, Space Telecommunications and Navigation Systems
1996 - 1998: Vice-President Stuttgart University, in particular
responsible for Research and Technology
1998 â€" 2000: CEO of Technology Transfer Initiative GmbH of University
2000 - 2004: Head of the European Astronaut Centre (EAC), in Cologne,
Dutch Royal Academy of Science (since 1985), German
Aerospace Society DGLR (Deutsche Gesellschaft fÃ¼r Luft- und Raumfahrt)
Corresponding Member (1986), DGLR Board of Directors (1989-94), Member
International Academy of Astronautics IAA (1989), Member Association of Space
Explorers (ASE; since 1986), ASE Executive Committee (1989-92), German Space
Agency DARA (Deutsche Agentur fÃ¼r Raumfahrtangelegenheiten) Advisory Board
(1990-94), American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics AIAA, Affiliate
Ca. 140, most of them are published in journals and
conference proceedings; holder of 10 patents, author and co-author of 10 books,
the latest on "Space Stations - Systems and Utilization" (by Springer Publisher,
Science Award of Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft in
Freiburg im Breisgau (1976), NASA Space Flight Medal (1985), NASA Flight
Achievement Award (1986), German Cross of Merit First Class (1985), Medal of
Merit of Federal State Baden-WÃ¼rttemberg (1986), Golden Hermann Oberth Medal
(1986), Reinhard-Furrer-Award of DARA (1997), Officier dans l'Ordre des Palmes