Fuglesang, Christer

Chister Fuglesang is a Swedish physicist and an ESA astronaut. He was born Arne Christer Fuglesang on March 18, 1957 in Stockholm, Sweden. His mother was Swedish, but his father was Norwegian, having become a Swedish citizen just before Fuglesang’s birth. Fuglesang graduated college, and went on to receive a Master of Science degree in engineering physics from the Royal Institute of Technology in 1981. While at the Royal Institute, he met Elisabeth, whom he married in 1983. He then earned a Doctorate in experimental particle physics from Stockholm University in 1987. Fuglesang has also received honorary doctorates from UmeÃ¥ University in Sweden, and the University of Nova Gorica in Slovenia.

During his early career, Fuglesang worked at CERN in Geneva on the UA5 experiment. In 1988 he became a Fellow of CERN, where he worked on the CPLEAR experiment, and just one year later he became a Senior Fellow and head of the particle identification subdetector. In November 1990, Fuglesang went to work at the Manne Siegbahn Institute of Physics in Stockholm. However, he stayed stationed at CERN for another year while he was finishing his work towards the new Large Hadron Collider project.

In May 1992, Fuglesang was chosen to join the Astronaut Corps of the European Space Agency. He went through an introductory training program at the EAC and a four-week training program at Cosmonauts Training Center. Fuglesang completed his training in July 1993. On March 17, 1995, he received his first assignment as a member of the backup crew for the Euromir 95 mission. During the mission, Fuglesang was the chief crew interface coordinator and the main contact with ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter. In 1996, ESA chose Fuglesang to train as a Mission Specialist for NASA Space Shuttle missions. He joined the Mission Specialist Class at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas and qualified for flight assignment as a Mission Specialist two years later. He then returned to Europe for continued training, but returned to NASA in October 1998 and was assigned various technical duties in the Astronaut Office Station Operations System Branch on Russian Soyuz and Progress transfer vehicles.

Fuglesang’s first spaceflight mission was as a Mission Specialist on STS-116, which launched in December 2006. It was an assembly and crew-rotation mission to the International Space Station. During the mission, he completed his first three spacewalks, during which he installed the P5 truss segment, rewired the power system of the ISS, and fixed a problem when retracting a solar panel. In total, his EVA duration was 18 hours and 15 minutes. Two years later Fuglesang was chosen as a mission specialist of the STS-128. They launched on August 28, 2009 and planned to deliver equipment that will allow the ISS crew to be expanded from three to six astronauts. During the mission, Fuglesang became the first spacewalker outside Russia and USA to do more than three spacewalks when he completed two more EVAs. Currently, Fuglesang is still an astronaut primarily with the ESA and NASA. He and his wife have three children.