Dr. Alexander Gerst (born 3 May 1976 in Künzelsau, Baden-Württemberg) is a European Space Agency astronaut and geophysicist, who was selected in 2009 to take part in space training. He was part of the International Space Station crew from May to November 2014.
Gerst studied at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany, where he received a degree in geophysics. He also studied earth science at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, where he was awarded a master of science. He has been working as a researcher since 2005 and received his doctorate in natural sciences at the Institute of Geophysics of the University of Hamburg in 2010, with a dissertation on geophysics and volcanic eruption dynamics. In his spare time, he enjoys mountaineering, diving, climbing and skydiving.
He was officially selected as an astronaut in 2009 by the European Space Agency.
He visited space as part of the Expedition 40/41 International Space Station crew from May to November 2014.
On 10 November 2014 at 03:58 UTC (04:58 CET), he landed back on Earth in the same Soyuz TMA-13M spacecraft that flew him to the International Space Station on 28 May along with Russian commander Maxim Suraev and NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman.