Encyclopedia Astronautica
Merbold



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Merbold
Credit: www.spacefacts.de - www.spacefacts.de
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STS-9
Payload Specialist Ulf Merbold working in the Spacelab
Credit: NASA
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STS-9
STS-9 crewmembers Parker and Merbold floating about the Spacelab module
Credit: NASA
Merbold, Dr Ulf Dietrich (1941-) German physicist payload specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-9, STS-42, Mir Euromir 94.

Educated Stuttgart.


ESA Official Biography

NAME: Ulf Merbold

BIRTHPLACE AND DATE: Greiz, Germany, 20 June 1941

EDUCATION: Ulf Merbold graduated from Stuttgart University in 1968 with a diploma in Physics. In 1976 he received a doctorate in Sciences (Dr.rer.nat.).

FAMILY: Married, two children.

RECREATIONAL INTERESTS: Enjoys skiing, glider flying and piano playing.

EXPERIENCE: After university, Ulf Merbold joined the Max-Planck-Institute for Metals Research in Stuttgart, first on the basis of a scholarship of the Max Planck Society and later as a staff member, where he studied state and low temperature physics, in particular experimental investigations of lattice defects in body-centred cubic metals. In 1977, Merbold was pre-selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) as a Payload Specialist for the first flight of the European-built Spacelab laboratory on the US Space Shuttle (Spacelab 1). A year later he was nominated as one of the three Payload Specialists for the mission and in 1982 was selected for flight by the ESA Director General, following a recommendation of the Principal Investigators (the scientists involved in the mission).

Ulf Merbold became the first non-American to fly on the Space Shuttle during the STS-9 mission (28 November to 8 December 1983), the primary objective of which was the verification of Spacelab in orbit and the execution of 72 highly sophisticated scientific experiments. In 1984 he was involved in the Space Shuttle Spacelab German D-1 mission, as both back-up Payload Specialist and Crew Interface Coordinator (CIC). Merbold transferred to the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, The Netherlands, in 1986 to support ESA in the planning of Columbus, the European laboratory for the International Space Station.

He was appointed Head of the DLR (German Aerospace Research Establishment) Astronaut Office in 1987 and, on the basis of a secondment to DLR, lead the German astronauts and supported the preparation of the D2 mission. In December 1988 he was nominated as ESA Payload Specialist candidate for the International Microgravity Laboratory mission (IML-1) on the Space Shuttle.

The IML-1 (STS-42) training programme started in April 1989 and the following January he was selected to fly on the mission which took place between 22 and 31 January 1992. As a member of the payload crew he was primarily responsible for the 55 scientific experiments on the flight.

During the second German D2 mission from April 26 to May 6, 1993, Ulf Merbold was Science Coordinator at the Mission Control Centre in Germany.

In August 1993, after preparatory courses at the European Astronaut Centre (EAC), he started training at TsPK (Cosmonauts Training Centre) in Star City near Moscow. He was selected for flight (Crew 1) for ESA's Euromir 94 mission and became the first ESA astronaut to fly on the Russian space station Mir, performing a 32-day mission between 3 October and 4 November, 1994. As Research Cosmonaut, he was responsible for the execution of 28 European experiments.

Merbold holds a commercial pilots licence (CPL2) with Instrument Rating, as well as an Acrobatic licence, and has logged more than 3000 hours as Pilot in Command.

SPECIAL HONOURS: Ulf Merbold has received numerous awards, including the First Class Order of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Order of Merit of the States of Baden-Württemberg and Nordrhein-Westfalen, the Haley Space Flight Award of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the USSR Pilot-Cosmonaut V.M. Komarov diploma of the International Aeronautical Federation, and the distinction for scientific achievement in Air and Space Medicine from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Luft- und Raumfahrtmedizin. He received the Flight Achievement Award of the American Astronautical Society in 1983 and the "Order of Friendship" from President Yeltsin of the Russian Federation in 1995. The following year Ulf Merbold was awarded an honorary doctorate in engineering (Dr.-Ing. h.c.) by the Rheinisch-Westfalische Technische Hochschule.

CURRENT ASSIGNMENT: Ulf Merbold works on development programmes for ESA's contribution to the International Space Station.

June 1998

Birth Place: Greiz.
Status: Inactive.


Born: 1941.06.20.
Spaceflights: 3 .
Total time in space: 49.90 days.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
Associated Flights
  • STS-9 Crew: Garriott, Lichtenberg, Merbold, Parker, Shaw, Young. First West German to fly in space. First Spacelab mission. Record six crew size in a single spacecraft. Suspect exhaust nozzle on right solid rocket booster. Landing delayed when two computers failed. Landed on fire when hydraulic pump leaked. More...
  • STS-42 Crew: Bondar, Grabe, Hilmers, Merbold, Oswald, Readdy, Thagard. Manned seven crew. Carried International Microgravity Laboratory-1. More...
  • Mir EO-16 Crew: Malenchenko, Musabayev. Mir Expedition EO-16. Soyuz TM-19 docked at the rear port of the Kvant module (vacated by Progress M-23 on July 2) at 13:55:01 GMT on July 3. Soyuz TM-19 undocked from Mir at 07:29 GMT on November 4. The Soyuz instrument module (PAO, priborno-agregatniy otsek) fired its deorbit engine, and was jettisoned together with the orbital module (BO, bitovoy otsek) at 10:51 GMT, with entry interface for the descent module (SA, spuskaemiy apparat) at 10:54. It landed 170 km north-east of Arkalyk in Kazakhstan on 1994 November 4 at 11:18 GMT. Backup crew: Viktorenko, Kondakova. More...
  • Mir Euromir 94 Crew: Merbold. German astronaut. Primary mission to swap Soyuz lifeboats. Backup crew: Duque. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • ESA European agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. European Space Agency, Europe. More...

Associated Programs
  • Mir The Mir space station was the last remnant of the once mighty Soviet space programme. It was built to last only five years, and was to have been composed of modules launched by Proton and Buran/Energia launch vehicles. These modules were derived from those originally designed by Chelomei in the 1960's for the Almaz military station programme. As the Soviet Union collapsed Mir stayed in orbit, but the final modules were years late and could only be completed with American financial assistance. Kept flying over a decade beyond its rated life, Mir proved a source of pride to the Russian people and proved the ability of their cosmonauts and engineers to improvise and keep operations going despite all manner of challenges and mishaps. More...
  • 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...

Merbold Chronology


1983 November 28 - . 16:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-9.
  • STS-9 - . Call Sign: Columbia. Crew: Garriott; Lichtenberg; Merbold; Parker; Shaw; Young. Payload: Columbia F06 / Spacelab 1 Pallet. Mass: 15,088 kg (33,263 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Garriott; Lichtenberg; Merbold; Parker; Shaw; Young. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-9. Spacecraft: Columbia. Duration: 10.32 days. Decay Date: 1983-12-08 . USAF Sat Cat: 14523 . COSPAR: 1983-116A. Apogee: 254 km (157 mi). Perigee: 241 km (149 mi). Inclination: 57.0000 deg. Period: 89.50 min. Carried ESA Spacelab. Payloads: Payload: Spacelab-1 experiments, habitable Spacelab and pallet, carried 71 experiments. The six-man crew was divided into two 12-hour-day red and blue teams to operate experiments. First high-inclination orbit of 57 degrees.

1983 December 8 - .
1992 January 22 - . 14:52 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-42.
  • STS-42 - . Call Sign: Discovery. Crew: Bondar; Grabe; Hilmers; Merbold; Oswald; Readdy; Thagard. Payload: Discovery F14 / GBA-3. Mass: 13,001 kg (28,662 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Bondar; Grabe; Hilmers; Merbold; Oswald; Readdy; Thagard. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-42. Spacecraft: Discovery. Duration: 8.05 days. Decay Date: 1992-01-30 . USAF Sat Cat: 21846 . COSPAR: 1992-002A. Apogee: 307 km (190 mi). Perigee: 291 km (180 mi). Inclination: 57.0000 deg. Period: 90.50 min. Manned seven crew. Carried International Microgravity Laboratory-1. Payloads: International Microgravity Laboratory (lML)-1, getaway special (GAS) bridge with 10 getaway specials, IMAX camera, Gelation of Sols: Applied Microgravity Research (GOSAMR)-1, Investigations Into Polymer Mem-brane Processing (IPMP), Radiation Monitoring Equipment (RME)-lll, Student Experiment 81-09: Convection in Zero Gravity, Student Experiment 83-02: Capillary Rise of Liquid Through Granular Porous Media.

1992 January 30 - .
1994 October 3 - . 22:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Soyuz TM-20 - . Call Sign: Vityaz (Knight ). Crew: Kondakova; Merbold; Viktorenko. Backup Crew: Budarin; Reiter; Solovyov. Payload: Soyuz TM 11F732 s/n 69. Mass: 7,150 kg (15,760 lb). Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Kondakova; Merbold; Viktorenko; Budarin; Reiter; Solovyov. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-17; Mir Euromir 94; Mir EO-16; Mir LD-4. Spacecraft: Soyuz TM. Duration: 169.22 days. Decay Date: 1995-03-02 . USAF Sat Cat: 23288 . COSPAR: 1994-063A. Apogee: 395 km (245 mi). Perigee: 392 km (243 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.43 min. Mir Expedition EO-17. Docked at the Mir forward port at 00:28 on 1994 October 6. The Mir crew of Viktorenko, Kondakova and Polyakov boarded Soyuz TM-20 on January 11, and undocked from Mir's front port at 09:00 GMT. The spacecraft withdrew to about two hundred metres from Mir and then redocked in a test of the automatic Kurs system, which had failed in Progress M-24's attempted docking. Redocking came at 09:25 GMT.

1994 November 4 - .
  • Landing of Soyuz TM-19 - . Return Crew: Malenchenko; Merbold; Musabayev. Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Malenchenko; Merbold; Musabayev. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir Euromir 94; Mir EO-16; Mir EO-17; Mir LD-4. Soyuz TM-19 undocked from Mir with the crew of Malenchenko, Merbold and Musabayev aboard at 07:29 GMT on November 4. The Soyuz instrument module (PAO, priborno-agregatniy otsek) fired its deorbit engine, and was jettisoned together with the orbital module (BO, bitovoy otsek) at 10:51 GMT, with entry interface for the descent module (SA, spuskaemiy apparat) at 10:54. It landed 170 km north-east of Arkalyk in Kazakhstan on 1994 November 4 at 11:18 GMT.

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