Germany plans unmanned moon mission

2nd March 2007, Comments 0 comments

2 March 2007, Cologne (dpa) - Germany plans an unmanned flight to the moon by 2013, the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) said in Cologne Friday. "We aim to launch a national moon mission," DLR Director Walter Doellinger said, adding that there was no intention to launch a manned mission. The aim is to put a probe into orbit around the moon for four years with the aim of charting the entire surface for the first time. The survey is to be three-dimensional and in colour. "The probe will examine the moon's surfa

2 March 2007

Cologne (dpa) - Germany plans an unmanned flight to the moon by 2013, the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) said in Cologne Friday.

"We aim to launch a national moon mission," DLR Director Walter Doellinger said, adding that there was no intention to launch a manned mission.

The aim is to put a probe into orbit around the moon for four years with the aim of charting the entire surface for the first time. The survey is to be three-dimensional and in colour.

"The probe will examine the moon's surface and provide indications of significant geological formations that could later be of interest for drilling," Doellinger said.

The probe will also investigate the moon's magnetic fields, look for water and analyse the minerals on its surface.

He said Germany was planning its own mission. Other countries, such as China, Japan, India, Italy and Britain, had similar plans.

Doellinger said details would be announced in early 2008 and estimated costs at 300 million euros (390 million dollars) over five years, in addition to the annual DLR budget of 700 million euros.

He said the DLR had "the best camera currently available, the best radar sensors and unique spectrum sensors for measuring the mineral composition."

Radiation measures were also essential to see whether humans could survive on the moon.

A second phase of the German mission foresees a probe that would land on the moon to take samples.

While Germany was not planning a manned mission, Doelinger noted that the United States was developing a spacecraft for manned flight to the moon, with the aim of building an astronaut station there as a staging point for missions to Mars.

Germany could possible become involved in this at a later date.

DPA

Subject: German news

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