Claude Nicollier shares his personal space stories with us
At the Swiss Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, visitors can admire typically Swiss artefacts while queuing on the red carpet. Among them: Prof. Claude Nicollier’s (77) very own notes from the crew notebook of his second space mission in December 1993, when he visited the Hubble Space Telescope for the first time. All in all, Nicollier logged more than 1000 hours in space, including a spacewalk lasting more than eight hours to install new equipment on the Hubble.
Claude Nicollier is the first as well as currently only Swiss astronaut and we had the pleasure to sit down with him, here at the Swiss Pavilion, for a short interview about his personal notes, taken in space.
Watch Claude Nicollier tell his story:
About Prof. Claude Nicollier
Prof. Claude Nicollier flew into space for the first time on 31 July 1992 on board the US space shuttle Atlantis, after twelve years of training. Originally trained as an astrophysicist and a fighter pilot in the Swiss Air Force, he then went on three other space flights, including two missions to maintain the Hubble Space Telescope.
Today, as Honorary Professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), Nicollier shares his unique knowledge and experience with future generations. He teaches a course on Space Mission Design and Operations, and provides assistance to students on space-related projects.
As a guest speaker at the Swiss Pavilion, during the Space thematic Week at Expo 2020 Dubai, Prof. Claude Nicollier rapidly captivated the audience and took the public on a journey to space. He opened up about what inspired him to become an astronaut in the first place, shared anecdotes about his various space missions and spoke about the next big return to the moon by the space agencies. Click here to revisit Nicollier’s presentation.
Did you know?
Switzerland is an important space actor since the 1960’s and a founding member of the European Space Agency (ESA). Whether it’s on Mars with the Europeans, the Americans or the Chinese, on the Moon with the Russians or on satellites orbiting Jupiter, Swiss technology is everywhere in space.
Apollo 11 is probably the most famous space mission of all time. The first experiment carried out by the Apollo astronauts was the deployment of metallic foils, “solar sails.” This ingenious experiment was imagined by Professor Johannes Geiss, Director of the Physics Institute of the University of Bern at the time, and his Swiss team. Ever since, Swiss scientists, researchers and astronaut Prof. Claude Nicollier have been at the forefront of the space industry.
At Expo 2020 Dubai, during the Space thematic Week, the Swiss Pavilion showcased Switzerland’s education, research and innovation in the field of space exploration and technologies. From 17 until 23 October 2021, space experts gathered at the Swiss Pavilion to discuss sustainable space logistics, radio astronomy, the management of space debris and educational programs for outreach among young people.