About us


Claudia Kessler is an entrepreneur and visionary. In April 2017, she founded Astronautin GmbH to enable a female future for the (so far exclusively male) human astronaut corps of Germany. Claudia campaigns for a dynamic vision of a gender-equal aerospace industry and is working hard to meet her ambitious goal: Sending the first German woman to space in 2021. This privately funded and organized initiative is a ground (and orbit) breaking enabler for the commercial space industry in Germany, building on the example of Elon Musks’s SpaceX in the United States.

Claudia is also one of a small number of women in leadership positions in the German aerospace industry, therefore acting as a leading example to enable more women to take up executive posts in the field. In 2009, she founded the network “Women in Aerospace Europe,” which internationally promotes careers of female experts and executives in the industry and counts over 500 members in 12 European countries.

Claudia has a diploma in aerospace engineering, holds an MBA and has over 30 years worth of experience in the space sector nationally and internationally. She lives in Bremen, Germany, with her husband and has a daughter.


Inka Helmke is in charge of finance and operations at Astronautin GmbH. In her role as CFO, she supports process and HR management and looks after organisational procedures. Inka shows great enthusiasm for the strict innovation management system “Kaizen,” which motivates all employees of a company to contribute to optimizing tasks, workflows, processes and products.

From 2009 to 2018, she worked as manager for finance and innovation at an international recruitment agency for the space sector, where she discovered her enthusiasm and passion for space. She is well-versed in strategic and political manners, which she picked up over many years of working with space agencies. Inka enthusiastically and convincingly represents our company in public and acts as a brand ambassador.

Inka studied business administration and controlling and completed vocational training as a tax clerk. She lives near Bremen, is married and has a  son.

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