German astronaut Maurer prepares to return to Earth

German astronaut Matthias Maurer, 52, is preparing to return to Earth in the coming days.

"For me, the main thing now is to pack my belongings," Maurer said Monday from the International Space Station, in a live broadcast with ESA Director-General Josef Aschbacher and others, adding that the exact date of his return to his homeland was not yet clear.

Maurer is expected to return to Earth after spending about six months in space. He said he was happy that all the experiments conducted by German and European scientists went well, adding, "I hope we have achieved very new results."

Aschbacher said the astronauts' scientific work is "work that we really need here on Earth," wishing Mauro "a safe trip to Earth."

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