Dr. Peter Eichler


Work History



Since 1996

Since 2016 Spaceflight Consultant

  • serving as Head of Training and Missions for the “Stiftung erste deutsche Astronautin gGmbH”, leading the training and mission preparation for launching the first female German astronaut as a commercial mission to the International Space Station ISS

 1999 – 2015 Airbus Defence and Space, Bremen, Germany

  • 1999 - 2014 Crew Training Instructor for ISS Astronaut on Columbus Systems and Basic Safety on behalf of the European Space Agency ESA, training more than 75 astronauts and cosmonauts from 13 countries
  • 2002 - 2015 serving in various management functions, including
    • Project lead for Columbus System Training
    • Project lead for Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) Training
    • Crew Training Manager for the ISS Operating Teams (IOT)
    • Contract management for the ESA ISS Operations blanket order and subcontractor management
  • 2004 - 2014 assignment as Eurocom (performing the space-to-ground communication and crew support for the European ISS contributions) as member of the Columbus Flight Control Team at the Columbus Control Centre, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
  • 2013 - 2015 Columbus Stowage and Maintenance Officer (COSMO) at the Columbus Control Centre, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, Increment Lead COSMO for ISS Inc. 43

 Sine 2000: Technische Universität Braunschweig, Germany, Lecture on „Raumfahrttechnik bemannter Systeme“

1996 International Space University (ISU) Summer Session, Baltimore, USA, Faculty Member for the project ‘Space Debris’


1993 - 1999: Aerospace Consultant, Lockheed Martin SMSS, NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, USA: 
  • Supporting the NASA Orbital Debris Project: Modeling of the current and future population of objects in Earth orbits, resulting collision risks, and consequences on planning and operation of space missions, e.g., Space Shuttle (Flight Readiness Reviews) and International Space Station (orbital debris and meteoroid environment standard model EMOD96), shielding design (program Bumper), collision avoidance maneuvers, protection of astronauts during EVA, satellite constellations (Iridium, Teledesic)
  • National and international regulations for debris mitigation, e.g., UN COPUOS, the NASA Orbital Debris Safety Handbook (NASA Safety Standard 1740.14), and Debris Assessment Software DAS
  • Lead development and maintenance of a data base of all objects launched into Earth orbit, including USSPACECOM Two Line Elements and Satellite Catalog data
  • Project lead of a study on cost-effective post mission disposal options for removing spent upper stages from orbit 'Post Mission Disposal of Upper Stages'


1986 - 1993: Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter (Research Scientist), Technical University (TU) Braunschweig, Germany, Institute of Space and Reactor Technology:
  • Satellite orbital mechanics, orbital perturbations, orbit propagation (numerical and analytical), orbital lifetime and reentry
  • Space debris environment analysis, debris detection (optical and radar), debris modeling, and collision risk analysis
  • Responsible for acquisition and execution (key personnel) of contracts from the European Space Agency ESA (e.g., the ESA Reference Model For Space Debris and Meteoroids 'MASTER'), the German Aerospace Industry, the German Ministry of Research and Technology BMFT, and the German Space Agency DARA
  • Invention and development of mechanic and electrodynamic space tethers for the active removal of large debris objects from earth orbits (TERESA-strategy)
  • Teaching experience: supervision of numerous aerospace lectures, graduate projects, master theses, and laboratory experiments at the Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany

Numerous awards, including:
  • DORNIER-Award of the German Society for Aeronautics and Space Flight DGLR for the Encouragement of Junior Scientists 1985
  • ESA Team Achievement Award for the Contribution to the Preparation and Implementation of the First ESA Advanced Training 2002
  • Astrium Columbus Team Award 2008
  • DGLR Wernher-von-Braun Team Award for the Columbus Development Team 2008
  • ESA Directorate of Human Spaceflight Award to the Eurocom Team for Outstanding Contributions to the Directorate's Programme Activities 2009
  • NASA and DLR Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of outstanding contributions to the STS-119 (15A) Space Shuttle Mission to the International Space Station Mar 15 – 28, 2009
  • ESA Certificate of Appreciation for outstanding contributions to the STS-122/1E Columbus mission
  • NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center Group Achievement Award for STS-122/1E European Space Agency Flight Control Team
  • ESA Team Achievement Award for the Columbus Instructor Team for ESA Astronaut Basic Training 2009-2010
  • ESA Award for dedicated contributions to Columbus Increment 17 Operations
  • ESA Group Achievement Award for ISS Increments 21&22 Team
  • ESA Group Achievement Award for the Eurocom Team for excellent performance in preparation and execution of the ISS Increment 25 & 26 operations.
  • Astrium and ESA Achievement Award for ISS Increments 27&28