Ernst Messerschmid Status: Retired 5/21/1945 – Nationality: German Type: Government First Flight: 10/30/1985 Last Flight: 10/30/1985 Ernst Willi Messerschmid (born May 21, 1945) is a German physicist and former astronaut. From 1978 to 1982, he worked at the DFVLR (the precursor of the DLR) in the Institute of Communications Technology in Oberpfaffenhofen on space-borne communications. In 1983, he was selected as one of the astronauts for the first German Spacelab mission D-1. He flew as payload specialist on STS-61-A in 1985, spending over 168 hours in space. Launches Space Shuttle Challenger / OV-099 | STS-61-A German Aerospace Center Type: Government Abbreviation: DLR Administration: Pascale Ehrenfreund Founded: 1969 Spacecraft: Mars Express | Rosetta | Dawn Country: DEU The German Aerospace Center is Germany’s Center for aerospace, energy, and transportation research. Their main work is as a contributor to the ESA. They have done work both in tandem with the US on Space Shuttle and the ISS, and also with other European Nations on missions like Space Lab and Mars Express.