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Saab Chief Test Pilot Lifts Off for Two-Week Mission to Space

2 min read

It’s not every day you send a colleague to space! More than 100 friends, family, and colleagues from around the world gathered on Florida’s Space Coast to celebrate their Swedish colleague, Chief Test Pilot Marcus Wandt’s journey as an astronaut assigned to the Axiom Mission 3 (Ax-3). 

As the European Space Agency (ESA) project astronaut, Marcus traveled on January 18th to the International Space Station (ISS) as a mission specialist. During his time at the ISS, Marcus will conduct several scientific experiments and technology studies to support further space innovation.

President and CEO, Micael Johansson and Karina Wandt

“Space, and the tools we develop for space technologies, will be critical to our advancement in the decades to come. The work that Marcus and his crewmates are doing over their mission is an incredible testament to the human capacity for innovation, a value central to Saab’s culture and work for our clients,” said Erik Smith, president & CEO, Saab, Inc.

The celebration’s highlight was a heartfelt speech by Marcus’ brother Christian. Christian shared how Marcus’ wife and fellow Saab Engineer Karina Wandt discovered the ESA astronaut reserve program opportunity and encouraged Marcus to follow his dreams and apply. In November 2022, Marcus was selected as a reserve team member out of more than 20,000 applicants.

Saab employees who traveled from Sweden to participate in the launch

“The launch of Ax-3 is an incredible time for all of us – a once-in-a-lifetime celebration of space, exploration and how proud we are of our colleague for following his dreams,” added Smith.

Marcus and the Ax-3 crew have spent the last two weeks at the ISS and will begin their journey home in the coming days.