Graduated from Bromma Gymnasium, Stockholm in 1975 and received a civil engineering degree (technical physics) from the Royal University of Technology (KTH), Stockholm in 1981. Disputed in experimental particle physics in 1987 and became associate professor in particle physics at Stockholm University in 1991. He was appointed in 2006 as an affiliated professor at the Royal Institute of Technology, KTH.
Honorary doctorate at Umeå University, Sweden (1999). Honorary doctorate at the University of Nova Gorica, Slovenia (2007). NASA’s Space Flight Medal (2007). HM The King’s Medal (Stockholm, 2007).
As a PhD student at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) in Geneva, Fuglesang worked on the UA5 experiment, which involved studies on collisions between protons and antiprotons. In 1988 he was appointed a CERN Fellow and then worked on the CPLEAR experiment, which involved studies on the subtle CP violation of Kaon particles. After a year, he was appointed Senior Fellow and Head of the Particle Identification Subdetector.
In November 1990, Fuglesang obtained a position at the Manne Siegbahn Institute for Physics in Stockholm but remained stationed at CERN for another year working on the new project Large Hadron Collider, LHC. Since 1980, Fuglesang has taught mathematics at the Royal Institute of Technology, KTH, when he was stationed in Sweden.
In May 1992, Fuglesang was accepted into the ESA astronaut corps stationed at the European Astronaut Center (EAC) in Cologne, Germany.
In 1992, he underwent an initial training program at EAC and a four-week training program at GCTC (Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre) in Star City, Russia, with an intention of future collaborations between ESA and Russia on the Mir space station. In July 1993, he completed basic training at EAC.
In May 1993, Fuglesang and fellow ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter of Germany were selected for the Euromir 95 mission and began training at GCTC to prepare for the duties onboard, spacewalks, and handling of the Soyuz spacecraft. The training for the Euromir 95 mission was organized and carried out for the most part at the EAC.
On March 17, 1995, he was selected as a member of Crew 2 for the Euromir 95 mission along with Genadi Manakov and Pavel Vinogradov. Fuglesang was the senior CIC (Crew Interface Coordinator) during the mission, which lasted from 3 September to 29 February 1996. From the Russian Ground Control (TsUP) in Kaliningrad, he managed the main contact with ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter on Mir, acting as coordinator between Mir and the Euromir 95 Payloads Operations Control Center in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, and the project management.
Between March and June 1996, he underwent special training on the Soyuz craft for undocking, atmospheric reentry and landing.
Christer Fuglesang began his training as a mission specialist at NASA/Johnson Space Center, Houston, in August 1996 and qualified for flight as a mission specialist in April 1998.
From May to October 1998, he resumed his training at GCTC in handling the Soyuz-TM spacecraft for undocking, atmospheric reentry and landing. He was named the Russian Soyuz Return Commander, which allows him to act as the commander of a three-person Soyuz capsule when it returns from space.
In October 1998, he returned to NASA-JSC and was assigned technical duties at the Astronaut Office. He worked on the Russian Soyuz and Progress spacecraft and as the Senior Increment Crew Support Astronaut for the Expeditionary Force of the 2nd International Space Station’s expanding crew. He later worked on future payloads to the ISS and has recently worked on activities during spacewalks.
Christer Fuglesang has continued with some scientific work. He was involved in the SilEye experiment which investigated flashes of light in the astronauts’ eyes on Mir between 1995 and 1999. This work continues on the ISS with the Alteino detector and the ALTEA instrument. He has also started the DESIRE project which simulates and calculates the radiation conditions inside the ISS.
In July 2008, Fuglesang was appointed mission specialist on space shuttle mission STS-128 to the International Space Station.
From December 9 to 16, 2006, Christer Fuglesang flew as mission specialist on mission STS-116 to the International Space Station. He then became the first Swede in space.
During his mission, which went by the name Celsius, Fuglesang participated in two regular spacewalks to attach new sections to the ISS truss and to reconfigure the station’s electrical system. He was also selected to do an extra, unscheduled spacewalk that was conducted to help fold the P6 solar array, which had become stuck while being folded from inside the ISS.
In total, he spent 18 hours and 14 minutes outside the ISS on spacewalks during mission STS-116.
Fuglesang participated in his second spaceflight from August 29 to September 12, 2009. He was then a mission specialist on the Space Shuttle Discovery for the STS-128 mission to the International Space Station. Fuglesang completed two spacewalks during the mission, which went by the name Alissé. His duties included installing a new ammonia tank and preparing for the installation of the Europa-built Node 3 module. In total, he spent 13 hours and 40 minutes outside the ISS on spacewalks during mission STS-128. With this, the total time he has spent on spacewalks to date is 31 hours and 54 minutes. Fuglesang was also responsible for overseeing the transfer of the cargo from the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) cargo module carried in Discovery’s hold. He also carried out experiments, and activities aimed at the education sector and the general public, as part of the Alissé mission.
Fuglesang is currently participating in post-production for his latest assignment.