Once infamously known as the astronaut who couldn’t get a ride into outer space, Sweden’s Christer Fuglesang is currently enjoying his second mission into the Great Unknown. It took years for Sweden’s first astronaut to get invited aboard the shuttle Discovery in 2006 for a voyage to the International Space Station; and now, just three years later he is back in orbit for a 13-day mission with seven other astronauts.
The SR news agency reports that Fuglesang’s current mission will involve two space walks to install a new ammonia tank on the International Space Station. “It’s very exciting to get a chance to fly to space again and I see an interest growing in Sweden,” he told reporters at a NASA news conference.
“Coming back, there was enormous interest when I flew in 2006, this time it’s the second time but there’s still quite an interest. I really look forward to going to the Space Station where it’s nearly complete now. It’s very international when you get up there and we all work together from many countries and cultures and last time it was so smooth and you looked down on the earth and you think wow I wish everybody on earth could also work as nicely together as we do in space,” he added.
Upon returning from his first space trip, he was met with huge fanfare from his fellow Swedes. A series of five postage stamps will be unveiled next month in honour of his first voyage to the ISS. It is likely Fuglesang will get an equally rousing reception when he lands at Stockholm sometime after 7 September.