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ESA astronaut Hans Schlegel, from Germany. A German physicist and former paratrooper, Hans Schlegel was selected as an astronaut in 1988 by the German Aerospace Research Establishment (DLR). In April/May 1993, he flew into space onboard Space Shuttle Columbia as Payload Specialist for the Spacelab D-2 mission (STS-55). In August 1995, he went to the Yuri A. Gagarin Training Center in Zvezdny Gorodok, near Moscow, to train as a backup for the German-Russian MIR'97 Mission, flown in February/March 1997. In 1998, he eventually qualified as 2nd board engineer for the Russian Space Station Mir and joined ESA's European Astronaut Corps. In August 1998, ESA sent him to NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC), in Houston, Texas, where he qualified as Mission Specialist. He is also assigned to the CAPCOM Branch of the Astronaut Office, conducting voice communication to the International Space Station.