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Sander: First Danish Astronaut Adds New Page to Danish History

May 20, 2009
32-year-old space researcher to become Denmark's first astronaut – and the first ESA astronaut with a Danish flag on his spacesuit.
– It's a great day in Danish history: today we may congratulate the first Danish astronaut on his admission to the European Astronaut Corps, says Helge Sander, Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation.

Today in Paris, the European Space Agency (ESA) presented six new members of its astronaut corps. 32-year-old Andreas Enevold Mogensen, PhD, Research Assistant at the Surrey Space Center south of London, is one of six candidates found highly qualified following a thorough selection process among more than 8,400 European applicants.

– The first Danish astronaut will be a good role model for young people in this country, and will clearly strengthen the interest in space travel and science, not least among young people, says Helge Sander.

For the same reason, the Science Minister launched a professional Danish astronaut campaign five years ago to ensure qualified Danish candidates for ESA's Astronaut Corps at the recently completed admission process.

– If you want to hear about the effect that a fellow countryman has in space, just go across the Øresund to Sweden. Since Christer Fuglesang's first stay at the International Space Station eighteen months ago, the Swedes' interest in space travel has risen noticeably, says Helge Sander.

The three official Danish candidates got far in ESA's selection process, but did not manage to go all the way. The first Danish astronaut was not able to take part in the Danish astronaut campaign since he had not completed his researcher education at the time.

Denmark's first astronaut, Andreas E. Mogensen, was born in Copenhagen and completed his researcher education in space engineering in the United Kingdom and USA. He has lived and worked in a number of countries – Singapore, USA, United Kingdom, Portugal, Angola and Congo – and in Denmark, working for the Danish windmill group Vestas.

At Surrey Space Center, Andreas E. Mogensen is working with analyses and design of spacecraft intended to land on Mars. Previously he worked for the European aerospace group EADS Astrium.

Brief CV for Andreas Enevold Mogensen:

  • Born in Copenhagen, 1976
  • Grew up in Denmark, Singapore and the United States
  • General Certificate from the Copenhagen International School, 1995
  • M.Eng. Aeronautical Engineering, Imperial College, London, 1999
  • Ph.D. from the University of Texas, Austin, 2007
  • Currently research assistant at Surrey Space Center in the UK.

For further comments by Science Minister Helge Sander, please contact Information Manager Allan Boldt, tel.: +45 33 92 97 39, abo@vtu.dk.

For further information about the Danish astronaut campaign and Denmark's membership of ESA, please contact the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation, Cecilie Tornøe, tel.: +45 35 44 63 53, ct@fi.dk.

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