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Swiss pioneers The Swiss who sends satellites into space

Daniel Neuenschwander oversees the launching of rockets taking satellites into space. The 42-year-old is the first Swiss director at the European Space Agency, ESA. (SRF/

Since the foundation of the European Space Agency, ESA over 40 years ago, Switzerland has collaborated on developing rockets and research programmes, and contributes to ESA's budget. 

Since September 2016, ESA has also had a Swiss Director of Space Transportation. Daniel Neuenschwander is one of ten directors at ESA, and his work brings a lot of responsibility and long hours. He leads launch missions of Ariane-5 rockets, sending million-dollar, high tech satellites into orbit.

Born in Bern, Neuenschwander trained as a Swiss Air Force pilot and gained a masters degree in physical geography and climatology from the University of Fribourg. SInce than he has served in various specialised bodies at ESA and other institutions.

In the series 'Swiss Pioneers', Swiss Public Television, SRF, meets Swiss nationals at home and abroad who have made a name for themselves in their area of expertise.

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