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

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By Barbara Warmbein; European Space Agency

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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. Spaceflight experience From 26 Apri to 6 May 1993, Schlegel served as Payload Specialist on STS-55 aboard Space Shuttle Columbia.

Education Thomas Reiter has a Masters Degree in Aerospace Technology. He graduated from Goethe High School in Neu-Isenburg in June 1977, from the Armed Forces University in Neubiberg in December 1982 and from the Empire Test Pilots School (ETPS) in Boscombe Down, England, in December 1992. Spaceflight Experience ESA-Russian Euromir 95 mission to the Mir, along with Russian colleagues Yuri Gidzenko and Sergey Avdeev. Thomas Reiter was assigned as flight engineer for the record-breaking 179-day mission (3 September 1995 to 29 February1996).

However, even though these probes will continue to precede humans in the future, they will never be able to replace us. It is the combination of cognitive, sensory and motor skills, attributes like creativity and intuition, that determine our unique capabilities and distinguish us from machines. Based on my own experience during the Euromir-95 mission to the Russian Space Station Mir, I can declare that no computer, no robot or any other automatic device would have been able to deal with the technical problems that arose from time to time.

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