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Germany Preparing For Moon Mission

The German Space Programme (DLR) has set its sights on the moon.
by Staff Writers
Berlin (AFP) March 1, 2007
The German space agency is preparing for a mission to the moon, the Financial Times Deutschland reported on Thursday. The head of the German Space Programme (DLR), Walter Doellinger, told the newspaper that it would be ready by 2013 to send an unmanned space shuttle to orbit the earth's only natural satellite.

"We want to show that Germany has the know-how," he said, after the DLR presented its plans for the mission to the German parliament.

Completing a moon mission would catapult the country into the league of nations which can send spacecraft into orbit.

Doellinger said the federal government was mulling the project.

A high-ranking official in the economy ministry, Helge Engelhard, said Berlin was "not negatively disposed" towards a moon mission.

He added that the mission should have clear scientific or technical goals.

It is estimated that sending a shuttle to orbit the moon would cost Germany between 300 and 400 million euros (396 million to 528 million dollars).

Italy and Britain are also currently looking at sending unmanned shuttles around the moon.

Germany became the first nation to launch a man-made object into space in the 1940s when it tested the V-2 ballistic missile which it used towards the end of World War II.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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