Encyclopedia Astronautica

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Messerschmid, Dr Ernst Willi (1945-) German physicist payload specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-61-A.

Educated Stuttgart; Tuebingen; Freiburg.

NAME: Prof. Dr. Ernst Messerschmid

BIRTHPLACE AND -DATE: Born in Reutlingen, Germany, 21 May, 1945


EDUCATION: Matriculated from the Technisches Gymnasium (High School) in Stuttgart in 1965. From 1967-1972 studied Physics at the Universities of Tuebingen and Bonn, received fellowships from the "Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes" and CERN (Geneva). In 1972 submitted diploma thesis on "Stacking Efficiency of Protons into CERN Intersecting Storage Rings". In 1976 received Ph.D. from University of Freiburg im Breisgau with thesis on "Longitudinal Instabilities of Relativistic Proton Beams in Synchrotrons". EXPERIENCE: From 1965 to 1967 Military service. From 1970-1975 Visiting Scientist and Fellow at CERN, doing experimental and theoretical work on proton beams in accelerators and plasmas. From 1975-1976 Lecturer and Research Associate at Freiburg University and Brookhaven National Laboratory (New York); invented adiabatic phase displacement acceleration in proton accelerators. In 1977 designed beam optics for PETRA electron storage rings at DESY (Hamburg). From 1978-1982 at DFVLR, Institute of Communication Technology at Oberpfaffenhofen. Research conducted in the area of space-borne communications (search and rescue satellite system, satellite navigation); CCIR delegate.

Member of the IAF study group on "Space Safety and Rescue". Teaching experience in satellite communication and navigation systems (academic training program). Conducted lectures on control theory at the University of Stuttgart/Berufsakademie. From 1983 a Science Astronaut at DLR in Cologne.

October 30 - Nov. 6, 1985 Spacelab Mission D-1, flight STS-61A, on Challenger. From Nov. 3, 1986 Professor and Director of the Institute for Space Systems at the University of Stuttgart, conducting research on electric propulsion systems, micro-gravity technology and space station architecture. Member of ESA's HERMES Advisory Committee.

PUBLICATIONS:Approximately 50, 18 of which have appeared in international publications and conference proceedings; co-author of 2 books.

AWARDS:1976 Award of "Wiss. Gesellschaft in Freiburg im Breisgau". 1985 Federal Cross of Merit First Class, Medal of Merit of Baden-Wuerttemberg.

Birth Place: Reutlingen.
Status: Inactive.

Born: 1945.05.01.
Spaceflights: 1 .
Total time in space: 7.03 days.

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
See also
Associated Flights
  • STS-61-A Crew: Bluford, Buchli, Dunbar, Furrer, Hartsfield, Messerschmid, Nagel, Ockels. Record crew size aboard a single spacecraft. First Dutch astronaut. Manned eight crew. Launched GLOMR; carried Spacelab D1. Six of the eight crew members were divided into a blue and red team working 12-hour shifts. Experienced O-ring erosion. More...

Associated Programs
  • STS The Space Transportation System (Space Shuttle) was conceived originally as a completely reusable system that would provide cheap, routine access to space and replace all American and civilian military launch vehicles. Crippled by technological overreach, political compromise, and budget limitations, it instead ended up costing more than the expendable rockets it was to have replaced. STS sucked the money out of all other NASA projects for half a century. The military abandoned its use after the Challenger shuttle explosion in the 1980's. More...

Messerschmid Chronology

1985 October 30 - . 17:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-29/61-A.
  • STS-61-A - . Call Sign: Challenger. Crew: Bluford; Buchli; Dunbar; Furrer; Hartsfield; Messerschmid; Nagel; Ockels. Payload: Challenger F09 / GLOMR 1. Mass: 14,451 kg (31,859 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Bluford; Buchli; Dunbar; Furrer; Hartsfield; Messerschmid; Nagel; Ockels. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-61-A. Spacecraft: Challenger. Duration: 7.03 days. Decay Date: 1985-11-06 . USAF Sat Cat: 16230 . COSPAR: 1985-104A. Apogee: 331 km (205 mi). Perigee: 319 km (198 mi). Inclination: 57.0000 deg. Period: 91.00 min. Manned eight crew. Launched GLOMR; carried Spacelab D1. Payloads: Spacelab D-1 with habitable module and 76 experiments. Six of the eight crew members were divided into a blue and red team working 12-hour shifts for 24-hour-a-day operation. The remaining two crew members were 'switch hitters.'.

1985 November 6 - .
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