'Let's go to the moon' says German official

7th November 2007, Comments 0 comments

7 November 2007, Berlin (dpa) - Berlin's top space official called Wednesday for Germany to mount an unmanned mission to land on the moon, describing this as "feasible and useful."

7 November 2007

Berlin (dpa) - Berlin's top space official called Wednesday for Germany to mount an unmanned mission to land on the moon, describing this as "feasible and useful."

Germany should begin by putting a craft in orbit round the moon in 2012 to map it, using the technologies where Germany led the world: stereo photography, radar technology and spectral sensing, Peter Hintze said.

But he said Berlin would not decide until the first quarter of 2008 whether to stump up 250 million to 350 million euros (367 million to 513 million dollars) for the Lunar Exploration Orbiter (LEO).

It could produce a high-resolution, three-dimensional image reaching several thousand metres below the moon's surface.

Hintze, a state secretary coordinating space policy, said the next step would be to send a robot lander, with a robotic laboratory on the surface to follow. However Germany had no plans to send people to the moon.

Germany mostly mounts space missions aboard rockets built and launched by the European Space Agency, which has its offices in Paris and a launch pad in Kourou, French Guiana.

DPA

Subject: German news

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