Ernst Willi Messerschmid (born May 21, 1945) is a German physicist and former astronaut. From 1978 to 1982, he worked at the DFVLR (the precursor of the DLR) in the Institute of Communications Technology in Oberpfaffenhofen on space-borne communications. In 1983, he was selected as one of the astronauts for the first German Spacelab mission D-1. He flew as payload specialist on STS-61-A in 1985, spending over 168 hours in space.
STS-61-A was the twenty-second space shuttle flight and ninth for Space Shuttle Challenger. It was a scientific spacelab mission funded entirely by West Germany. The payload operations were controlled from the German Space Operations Center as opposed to the regular NASA centers.Low Earth Orbit
The German Aerospace Center is Germany's Center for aerospace, energy, and transportation research. Their main work is as a contributor to the ESA. They have done work both in tandem with the US on Space Shuttle and the ISS, and also with other European Nations on missions like Space Lab and Mars Express.