At the beginning of February, Dr. Thomas Reiter, Prof. Dr. Ralf Jaumann and Prof. Dr. Hans-Jörg Dittus received their appointment certificates. The space experts are the first three of a total of six planned advisory board members and will support the conceptual implementation and public announcement of the large-scale research project with immediate effect.
"We are delighted to have such high-caliber reinforcement. With the expertise of the German space elite, their many years of experience and their international network, we have strong backing and support to further expand the ERIS project and to successfully implement it if approved," explains Prof. Dr. Carsten Drebenstedt of the ERIS spokesperson team.
Introduction of the advisory board members
The eighth German in space
Dr. Thomas Reiter was an ESA astronaut from 1992 to 2007 and is one of the few astronauts in the world to have spent a total of almost a year in space.
The long-term missions, the only ones of their kind to date, took the graduate engineer to the Russian MIR space station in 1995/96, and the other to the International Space Station ISS in 2006. During the missions, he was the first German to undertake two extravehicular missions in free space.
After his astronaut career, Dr. Thomas Reiter held positions including Head of the ESA Directorate for Manned Spaceflight and Mission Operations as ESA Coordinator International Agencies and Advisor to the Director General, as well as Member of the Board of the German Aerospace Center (DLR).
Planetary scientist and scientific space missionary
Since 2006, Prof. Dr. Ralf Jaumann has been an honorary professor at the Institute of Geological Sciences (Department of Planetology and Remote Sensing) at Freie Universität Berlin, where he is involved in scientific research on various space missions.
Among other things, he has been involved in various space missions with ESA and NASA camera experiments to Mars, Venus, and comets and asteroids. The missions provided spectacular 3D images and important insights for space and planetary research.
Until January 2020, Prof. Jaumann was also deputy head of the Institute of Planetary Research and head of the Planetary Geology Department at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Berlin-Adlershof.
Expert in gravitational and quantum physics
German physicist Prof. Dr. Hansjörg Dittus has been a university professor in the Department of Production Engineering/Mechanical Engineering and Process Engineering at the University of Bremen since 2006. Until 2008, as a successful scientist in various positions for more than two decades, he also shaped the development of the internationally recognized research area of space technology and fundamental physics at the Center for Applied Space Technology and Microgravity (ZARM), where the drop tower for unique experiments in zero gravity is also located.
In October 2008, Prof. Dittus moved to the Institute of Space Systems at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Bremen, where he was responsible for space research and technology as director and, from 2011 until 2020, as a member of the Executive Board.