Marco Sieber and Claude Nicollier about their life as astronauts – kids


Two generations, one dream: Marco Sieber recently became an astronaut, making him the second Swiss man to fly into space. Claude Nicollier experienced this over 30 years ago. What’s left and what’s still to come.

Flying into space in a rocket and floating through the cosmos: That’s a big childhood dream for many! So far, two men in Switzerland have turned this dream into reality. Claude Nicollier was the first Swiss astronaut ever. Marco Sieber recently completed astronaut training at the European Space Agency (ESA).

Sieber and Nicolier recently visited the Lucerne Museum of Transport. The SRF Kids children’s reporter Alessandro (10) wanted to find out more from the two astronauts about their highlights as astronauts.

Space at your fingertips: the new Swiss astronaut Marco Sieber

Marco Sieber completed his medical studies and then worked as a doctor. “As a doctor, you work a lot and have to make a lot of decisions under stress. That certainly helps in life as an astronaut,” says Sieber.

From physics studies to diving courses

Training to become an astronaut includes many lectures in various sciences such as physics, mathematics and biology. There are also practical training courses in diving or survival training on the boat. «I like the sports training best. That’s two to three guided training sessions per week. Exercising during working hours is great,” says the original Burgdorfer.

Monsieur Nicollier, joy reigns!

However, it is not yet time for Sieber to put what he has learned into practice. Marco Sieber will probably start the first mission in about two years. “I’m really looking forward to it,” says the 34-year-old.

The first Swiss astronaut: Claude Nicollier

For him, this journey was a while ago: Claude Nicollier flew into space for the first time in 1992. His training lasted 12 years until he flew into space on board the space shuttle “Atlantis”. So Nicollier had to be patient a little longer than Marco Sieber would have to if he was actually allowed to go on a mission in two years.

Nicollier’s first space flight was a sensation. The moment remains unforgettable when the then Federal Councilor Adolf Ogi greeted the astronauts with the words “Joy reigns!” welcomes:

Nicollier was in space several times in the following years. An unforgettable moment for him was when he arrived at the Hubble space telescope for the first time. “When I held this telescope in my hands for the first time, it was very special,” says Nicollier. Of course, he couldn’t hold it properly in his hands because the telescope, which continues to give us new insights into space today, is 13 meters long.

A unique experience: weightlessness

Nicollier also raves about the weightlessness. «Being weightless is a very nice feeling. You can just put your feet anywhere. This is fantastic!”

By the way, you can experience this feeling a little in the wind tunnel in Winterthur. This is what SRF Kids children’s reporter Alessandro did after the interviews:

Guide and Alessandro in the wind tunnel


In the wind tunnel in Winterthur, visitors can experience the feeling of weightlessness. Just like in the picture SRF Kids children’s reporter Alessandro.


Claude Nicollier, who will soon be 80, is extremely pleased that he now has a successor in Marco Sieber. “I am convinced that Marco Sieber will be the first Swiss man on the moon,” says the charming French-speaking Swiss.

For now, a little patience is required. But soon it may be said from the Federal Palace: “There is joy, Mr. Sieber!”

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