Andreas Mogensen is returning to Space

Andreas Mogensen, the first Dane to go into Space, will soon be returning.

Following a 10-day stay on the International Space Station (ISS) in 2015, Mogensen is scheduled to return on a six-month mission – either in July 2023 or more likely in 2024.

The best part for the astronaut is that this time he will be head of mission and pilot of the crew.

The news was announced today at the 2022 Space Conference at Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU) in Lyngby.

ESA and NASA collaboration
His next mission will be launched from the US – on the first occasion he left Earth, it was from Baikonour Cosmodrom in Kazakhstan.

He will journey there aboard a Crew Dragon spacecraft designed by Elon Musk’s company SpaceX.

This mission is a collaboration between European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA.

In recent years, Mogensen has been stationed at NASA in Houston, Texas.

“He has acted as a liaison between ESA and NASA. So, this is a collaboration between ESA and NASA, and they’re the ones who make the plans for who goes and when,” explained Michael Linden-Vørnle, an astrophysicist and chief consultant at DTU Space, at the conference.

A reward for his own merit
It is good news for Denmark that Mogensen will now be sent into space again, but it is first and foremost a result of the astronaut’s own merit that he has been selected, according to Professor John Leif Jørgensen, a head of department at DTU Space.

“Denmark is not usually at the front of the queue when ESA presents gifts because we only pay a very small contribution to ESA. The fact that Andreas Mogensen was chosen in the first place was a big surprise to many,” commented Jørgensen at the conference.

“He has proven to be good at making things work and getting people to work together, so ESA has now selected him again.”

Mogensen is currently a reserve pilot for a mission in 2023 (crew-6). This means that if the selected pilot cannot go, he will take his place. Otherwise he will leave for ISS in 2024.