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Walter, Ulrich

Prof. Prof. h.c. Dr. rer. nat. Dr. h.c. Ulrich Walter, physicist, science astronaut

Ulrich Walter was born in 1954 in Iserlohn (North Rhine-Westphalia). After studying physics at the University of Cologne he spent one year at the US research laboratory Argonne National Laboratories, Chicago, then one year as a postdoc at the University of California, Berkeley. From there he was appointed to the German astronaut team in 1987 and trained until his shuttle mission D-2 (26 April to 6 May 1993) at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Cologne-Porz and at NASA's Space Centre in Houston.

In 1994 he became project manager of the major project "German Satellite Data Archive" at the German Remote Sensing Data Center of DLR in Oberpfaffenhofen near Munich. In 1998 he moved to the IBM development laboratory in Böblingen, where he was project manager and lead consultant for the development and consulting of IBM software products.

Since March 2003 he has been head of the chair of astronautics at the Technical University of Munich and teaches and researches in the fields of space technology and systems engineering. His focus areas include real-time robotics in space, inter-satellite communication technologies, technologies for planetary exploration, and system modelling and optimization.

Ulrich Walter is a member of the scientific advisory board of the Deutsches Museum and president of the Hermann-Oberth-Museum in Feucht. He is the author of five books, including the illustrated book "In 90 Minuten um die Erde" ("Around the World in 90 Minutes"), two CD-ROMs, and has published more than 80 articles in various international journals. He is also a space travel journalist, and hosted the science programme MaxQ on Bayerisches Fernsehen from 1998 to 2003, in addition to hosting from 2011 to 2012 the programme "Unterwegs durchs All mit Ulrich Walter" ("Travelling through Space with Ulrich Walter"), as well as various special programmes on the National Geographic Channel. 

Book publications:

  • In 90 Minuten um die Erde, 1997
  • Zivilisationen im All – Sind wir allein im Universum?, 1999
  • Außerirdische und Astronauten, 2001
  • Zu Hause im Universum. Ein Weltraumbuch, 2002
  • Astronautics – The Physics of Space Flight, 2nd edition, 2012
  • Im schwarzen Loch ist der Teufel los, 2016
  • Höllenritt durch Raum und Zeit, 2017
  • Eine andere Sicht auf die Welt, 2018


"Hubble Mission Universum": Wissenschaftssendung bei ServusTV

"Sterne & Kosmos": Öffentliche Vortragsreihe von Prof. Dr. Ulrich Walter über Kosmogenese und Entstehung von Galaxien, Sternen und Planeten auf ServusTV (Dez. 2014)


Ulrich Walter holds the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Wernher-von-Braun Medal, and the honorary doctorate of the National Technical University of Ukraine, Kiev. In addition he was appointed honorary professor of the National Pedagogical Dragomanov University of Ukraine and was elected nationwide Professor of the Year 2008 in the category "engineering sciences and computer science".