Many want to go into space, but most stay below. Matthias Maurer did it. His expectations of the astronaut’s dream job have been fulfilled, but he didn’t expect one thing.
There was actually this moment in space when the German astronaut Matthias Maurer felt like he was in a Hollywood film: “Nasa radioed us at night that we were in danger of colliding with space debris in a few hours,” he says . That was three days after his arrival on the ISS space station in November 2021. Russia had shot down its own satellite, and the debris threatened the ISS. “We all had our ‘Gravity’ moment up there,” says Maurer, referring to the film in which Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as astronauts in Earth orbit fly debris from a Russian satellite around their ears. For safety reasons, Maurer had to go back to the Space X capsule he had come with. Everything went smoothly, “our biggest concern was actually that our mission could be over again”.