Prof. Dr. Reinhard Alfred Furrer (25 November 1940 – 9 September 1995) was a German physicist and astronaut. In 1977 Furrer applied for selection as an astronaut for the first Spacelab mission. He made it into the final round of candidates, although Ulf Merbold was finally selected. In 1982, the astronauts for the first German Spacelab mission were selected from the finalists for the first mission, and Furrer was one of the two chosen. He was a payload specialist on STS-61-A (D1), which was launched on 30 October 1985. The other payload specialists on the flight were Ernst Messerschmid and Wubbo Ockels (Netherlands).
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.