COLOGNE (Reuters) – Astronaut Alexander Gerst says he aims to be a “nice boss” when he becomes the $100 billion International Space Station’s first German commander later this year.
“I’m relatively relaxed because things will be much easier for me now, on my second flight. I already know what is important and what isn’t. I know I can do it,” Gerst told a news conference on Tuesday.
Gerst spent 165 days on the ISS in 2014. He begins a new six-month mission in June, along with Russian cosmonaut Sergei Prokopyev and U.S. astronaut Serena Aunon-Chancellor, and from September will command the multinational crew.
That will make him the second European commander in the 17 years the ISS been occupied, after Belgian Frank De Winne in 2009.
“On the space station it is important that you are a nice boss,” Gerst said. “My main task is to make sure that there’s good communication, that everyone is happy and that everyone has what he needs and isn’t overworked or bored.”
Eleven European countries participate in the ISS through the European Space Agency, together with the United States, Russia, Japan and Canada.
(Reporting by Reuters TV; Writing by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Kevin Liffey)