From 30th October to 6th November 1985 Reinhard Furrer formed part of the crew of the first German Spacelab Mission D1.
“The first thing that strikes you when you’re up there is the astonishing speed the shuttle is travelling. Over 17,000 mph. You come wheeling round over the continent of South America and tell yourself, better hurry up now, I’ve only got six minutes then I’ll be round the other side. You see the Andes for just 30 seconds. It’s incredible.
The second thing you notice is it’s black. You don’t know what black is until you’ve been in orbit. That sort of black is unreal. And in all that black the moon gets up. It takes a minute to rise and just a few minutes later it goes back down.
For me that that was the best thing about the whole space flight, being away from Earth. And then you look out and see all those constellations you’ve learnt about, bright yellow. You’re in space. The sun rises every 90 minutes and the Earth looks so nice from up there. It’s blue and white, really beautiful. Truly a beautiful thing hanging there in the middle of space… “