Thomas Reiter was born on 23 May 1958 in Frankfurt/Main. He holds a Master’s degree in Aerospace Technology and a honorary doctorate from the German Armed Forces University in Neubiberg/Munich. In 1992, Reiter was selected to join ESA’s European Astronaut Corps, based at the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) in Cologne, Germany and in March 1995 he was assigned as on-board engineer for the ‘Euromir 95’ mission. From September 1997 to March 1999, Thomas Reiter was detached to the German Air Force as Operational Group Commander of a Tornado fighterbomber wing. In April 1999 he returned to ESA and resumed his activities at the European Astronaut Centre, Cologne, Germany. During his second mission, ‘Astrolab’ from July to December 2006 he took up duties as Flight Engineer of the International Space Station and conducted 19 experiments in space on behalf of a number of European institutions and research centres.
Thomas Reiter holds the European record of 350 days in space – the most experienced non-American or non-Russian astronaut by time. He also performed several spacewalks (EVAs).
After his active astronaut career, Thomas Reiter was named on 8 August 2007 as a member of the Executive Board of the German Aerospace Center, DLR, responsible for Space Research and Technology.
On 1 April 2011, he became Director of ESA’s Directorate of Human Spaceflight and Operations (D/HSO), responsible for managing Europe’s contribution to the ISS, the Agency's human spaceflight activities, the operations of ESA’s satellite missions and of the ground segment.
Today he is the ESA Interagency Coordinator at the European Space Agency and Advisor to the Director General.