Wednesday, August 12, 2009

German minister aims for 2015 lunar landing

The Local - Hamburg

Germany should send an unmanned mission to the moon by 2015, according to government aerospace coordinator Peter Hintze, who will present his plan to the cabinet on Wednesday.

The German Aerospace Centre (DLR) is “very well prepared” to undertake the lunar exploration project, which would cost an estimated €1.5 billion, Hintze told broadcaster ZDF on Wednesday.

“This year we mobilised €5 billion for the old car scrapping premium, so we can probably also manage €1.5 billion,” he said, adding that the project and funding still need to be approved by parliament after federal elections in September.

“It deals with technology, that is, new developments that are not only interesting in space, but also highly interesting on earth,” said Hintze, who is also the parliamentary liaison to the Economy Ministry.

One of Germany’s technological focuses is robotics and automated systems, which will play a large role in not only aerospace, but medicine in the future, he said.

“I think that the technologies that are connected will generate more jobs than some other things we’re doing,” he said.

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