The International Space Station has been assembled in orbit, 350 km above Earth, since 1998 and is now all but complete. It has been permanently inhabited for ten years. ISS is a fabulous wonder, which has been as politically and socially challenging to build as technologically demanding. But now it offers a multitude of research potentials to many scientific communities around the world. Most of them exploit the weightlessness (or micro-gravity, to be specific) in orbit to perform experiments in fundamental physics, material science, fluid physics, biology and physiology. However the space station also offers an outstanding platform to look both down towards Earth and out into space. AMS, e.g., is a unique instrument that will detect particles, and anti-particles, from outer space for at least ten years on the outside of ISS. A full program is being studied on how to best utilize the space station for research on climate change. Last, but not least, from ISS one can do wonderful observations of auroras and related phenomena in the upper atmosphere, the favourite field of Kristian Birkeland.
Birkeland Lecturer 2010
Dr. Christer Fuglesang
Head of Science and Application Division, Human Space Flight Directorate,
European Space Agency (ESA)
Born in Stockholm, Sweden. Received a Master of Science in engineering physics from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, in 1981, and a Doctorate in experimental particle physics in 1987. In 1988, he became a Fellow of CERN, and Senior Fellow in 1989. In November 1990, Fuglesang obtained a position at the Manne Siegbahn Institute of Physics, Stockholm, working towards the new Large Hadron Collider (LHC) project in CERN. He became a Docent in particle physics at the University of Stockholm in 1991. He was appointed Affiliated Professor at KTH in 2006.
Fuglesang was selected to join the European Astronaut Corps, based at the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) in Cologne, Germany in 1992. He followed the introductory training programme at EAC and a training programme at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre(GCTC) in Russia. He completed basic training at EAC in 1993. He was then selected for the Euromir 95 mission and commenced training at GCTC in preparation for flight engineer tasks, extravehicular activities (spacewalks) and operation of the Soyuz spacecraft.
In March 1995, he was selected as member of Crew 2 for the Euromir 95 mission. During the mission Fuglesang was the prime Crew Interface Coordinator (CIC).
Fuglesang entered the Mission Specialist Class at NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston, in 1996. In 2002, he was assigned as a Mission Specialist to the STS-116 Space Shuttle mission, and in 2008 as Mission Specialist on the STS-128 Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station.
From 9 to 22 December 2006, Christer Fuglesang flew as Mission Specialist on Space Shuttle Discovery to the International Space Station. He became the first Swedish astronaut to fly in space. During this mission he conducted three spacewalks, to attach new hardware to the ISS and to reconfigure the Station's electrical power system.
Fuglesang participated in his second spaceflight from 29 August to 12 September 2009 as Mission Specialist to the International Space Station. During this mission Fuglesang made two spacewalks. He also undertook experiment, educational and public relations activities as part of this mission.
In May 2010 Fuglesang took up the position as Head of Science and Application Division in the Human Space Flight directorate of ESA. He is now stationed at ESTEC in The Netherlands.