The return to Austria


Ten days after the landing in Kazakhstan Franz Viehboeck arrived at the airport Schwechat, where he was welcomed by the Federal Minister of Science and Research Dr. Erhard Busek and the head of the provincial government Lower Austrian Siegfried Ludwig. Franz Viehboeck was really glad about the landing in Vienna. Finally he was welcomed not only by many notables but also by his family, and the most important family member for him: his littler daughter Carina Marie. The baby was born when his father was “between sky and earth”. The newly crowned father gave himself some days relaxation and time with his family, before he turned towards his obligations as Austrian scientific Cosmonaut again. These responsibilities brought him many distinctions. Among others he was welcomed by the Federal President of Austria Dr. Kurt Waldheim and he and Clemes Lothaller were decorated with the Great Golden Decoration of the republic of Austria. The Soviet Union honored the guest Cosmonauts, too. Viehboeck travelled to Moscow on the 4th of November 1991, where he and Clemens Lothaller got the medal “Druschba narodov” (medal of peoples friendship), the highest award specified for foreigners by the president Gorbatschov himself. At this time they couldn`t know, that the Austrians were because of the political evolutionen the last, which conserved the medal. Viehboeck brought honorary presents too. He visited, for example, all Austrian heads of the provincial governments and consigned them AUSTROMIR space streamers with the emblem of the respective province. Synchronous the back-breaking work for Viehboeck and Lothaller began: Promotions, autograph hours, interviews, and lectures. The two tried hard to appoint their qualifications as best as possible and applyed as Astronauts at the European space agency ESA. They accomplished up to the end selection, but were not under the six definitive elected. Clemens Lothaller conserved another function in the proximate year: From July to November 1992 he took past at a preparatory project for the intended European space laboratory. He spent two months together with three other persons in a test module, where they had to accomplish different experiments.

Today the project AUSTROMIR 91 is dated back now many years and the two Cosmonauts, Dr. Clemens Lothaller and Dipl. Ing. Franz Viehboeck, are now working in the private enterprise. Many scientific experiments have been carried out very extreme successfully, some expirements are closed and some were not carried on or angled failling financial funds, even if a construction was schedulded.

At each anniversary of AUSTROMIR Franz Viehboeck is asked for commentaries. The most impressive declaration of the Austrian scientific Cosmonaut is his declaration we heard during the conversation with the Austrian Federal President Dr. Kurt Waldheim on board of the space station:

“I would like to thank coeval all scientists, teachers and technicians, who enabled that men are able to perform their work at such a big space station in the universe. This is something really unique. Wonderful.”