Marco Sieber to become Switzerland's second-ever astronaut

Marco Sieber to become Switzerland's second-ever astronaut

Marco Sieber from Biel / Bienne, Canton Bern has been selected as an astronaut for the European Space Agency (ESA), the organisation confirmed on April 22. The 35-year-old becomes the second-ever Swiss astronaut in history and hopes to be the first man from the alpine nation to walk on the moon.

Marco Sieber selected to be an ESA astronaut

Speaking to 20 Minuten, Sieber said that the announcement was “a dream come true.” The Bernese has been in training with the ESA for a year, but on Monday it was confirmed that he would be one of the six applicants to actually become the next generation of astronauts - 22.500 people originally applied.

Sieber explained that the last year has seen him and his colleagues complete basic training, which includes extensive lectures and courses in biology, medicine, physics, mechanics and technology. While Sieber is set to be the first Swiss in space since Claude Nicollier in 1999, he isn’t the only new astronaut with an alpine connection: Belgian astronaut Raphaël Liégeois worked at EPF in Lausanne and the University of Geneva as a neuroscientist before joining the programme.

Who is Marco Sieber, Switzerland's second astronaut?

After graduating from high school in 2007, Sieber joined the Swiss Special Forces as a paratrooper in 2009. He would go on to become a doctor, serving in the Swiss Army’s deployment in Kosovo before working as a helicopter rescue doctor and a urologist at a hospital in Biel / Bienne. In his spare time, Sieber became a licenced pilot and accomplished skydiver.

Speaking to 20 Minuten, the new astronaut said while he was always fascinated by the stars he never thought he’d be given an opportunity to fly there. “Becoming an astronaut has always been a dream for me,” he confirmed.

Now, Sieber will continue his training as an ESA astronaut, before flying to the International Space Station between 2026 and 2030 to conduct scientific research. However, Sieber confirmed that he wanted to reach further for the stars in the future, noting that “landing on the moon one day is a goal.”

Thumb image credit: ©ESA; P. Sebirot

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

Read more



Leave a comment