Profile: Dr. Insa Thiele-Eich was born in Heidelberg 1983 to former astronaut Gerhard Thiele. She is a meteorologist and scientific co-ordinator at the Meteorological Institute of the University of Bonn, which conducts basic research for improved weather and climate predictions. The focus of her work is the investigation of the meteorological exchange processes, such as water or energy exchange between soil, vegetation, and atmosphere. In her doctoral thesis, she analyzed the effects of climate change on Bangladesh. She is the other of the two female astronauts from Germany to be sent on a mission to the International Space Station (ISS) by 2020. A mother of three children, she loves to run, climb, and does photography in her spare time.
What she says: “What fascinates me about the profession of an astronaut is, of course, flying into space, which is the icing on the cake of everyday work life. But I also find the training in advance particularly exciting, because in few other professions do you have the chance to test your physical and mental limits on a regular basis. There are also practical reasons why it is so important for women to play a role in space travel – for example, a female body reacts quite differently to reduced gravity. In many scientific fields or in medicine men do research for men. As a result, half of society is not taken into account – in space, but especially on Earth.”