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No German Moon Mission  
User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3630 posts, RR: 29
Posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 3090 times:

Now this is extremely disappointing. As some of you already knew, Germany had planned an unmanned moon mission, to be started in the next years.

Now, no funds were allowed for it. I am very disappointed about this decision, even if I have to admit that this probably was more a prestige-driven than a scientifically founded mission.

6 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 2977 times:



Quoting TheSonntag (Thread starter):
Germany had planned an unmanned moon mission, to be started in the next years.

Was this to be independent of the European Space Agency, or did ESA not select the German mission proposal for go-ahead?

Quoting TheSonntag (Thread starter):
I have to admit that this probably was more a prestige-driven than a scientifically founded mission.

Why? It was a mistake to end lunar exploration after Apollo. That's an entire world up there right in our own back yard that has about 75% of the land area of the Earth, and we've only looked up close at a dozen or so places there, all of them close to the equator on the near side. There is a lot of work left to be done, a realization that finally has dawned on the world's various space agencies, with China, Japan, India, ESA and the United States all developing or flying missions in the last few years.


User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3630 posts, RR: 29
Reply 2, posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 2960 times:



Quoting Thorny (Reply 1):
Was this to be independent of the European Space Agency, or did ESA not select the German mission proposal for go-ahead?

I do not know the exact facts, but this mission was not part of the German ESA engagement, but was planned to be undertaken under the authority of the DLR, the German space agency.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LEO_%28spacecraft%29


User currently offlineWvsuperhornet From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 517 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 2793 times:

may I ask whats the point of an unmanned mission to the moon? It would seem to me since we have 4 or 5 countries trying to get to the same place why not work together and save all of us tax payers a ton of money. Granted I doubt that the US,Russia and China will ever work closley together but why not the US,Europeans and Japan..Seems like a waste of money germany doing and unmanned mission on their own. I can see why it was cancelled.

User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3630 posts, RR: 29
Reply 4, posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 2739 times:



Quoting Wvsuperhornet (Reply 3):
may I ask whats the point of an unmanned mission to the moon? It would seem to me since we have 4 or 5 countries trying to get to the same place why not work together and save all of us tax payers a ton of money.

There was in interesting article about the whole subject in the known newpaper "Süddeutsche Zeitung".

The main reason why Germany wanted to do this project alone is to get a better position in negotiations about planned new projects. By showing you were able to do such a mission alone, you have a stronger position in shared projects, so that you might get a higher percentage of the work share.

About why the project was cancelled, there is an unoffical rumour that the responsible minister himself, Michael Glos, who is from bavaria, did not show much engagement in saving the mission, despite the fact that his ministry actively had tried to support it last year. The rumour says that the ministry got the budget it wanted, but instead of funding this mission, a research institute in bavaria will be built. So the minister himself sacrificed the mission in order to create more jobs in his home state.

I would be a little bit sceptical with this version, because traditionally Süddeutsche Zeitung is opposing the party of Michael Glos, so that they usually try to find something to bash them, but it would make sense for me.

The article stated that the mission is very likely dead, although the involved people have not given up yet.


User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 2728 times:



Quoting Wvsuperhornet (Reply 3):
may I ask whats the point of an unmanned mission to the moon?

Basic exploration. We barely scratched the surface of the moon with Apollo, and then stopped.
Also, today there are far more advanced sensors and technologies that can provide much better detail than NASA's Lunar Orbiter and Russia's Luna did in the 1960s.

NASA's objective for this year's LRO and LCROSS is to lay the groundwork for the upcoming manned missions (if they ever see the light of day) with high resolution mapping for potential landing/base sites. GRAIL in 2012 will provide extremely high resolution gravity mapping, which should make future landings much safer (lumpy gravity is what caused Apollo 11 to land off course.)

Japan's Kaguya has magnetometer, spectrometers, a radar sounder, and a laser altimeter to study surface composition at a higher resolution than was possible in the Apollo era.


Quoting Wvsuperhornet (Reply 3):
It would seem to me since we have 4 or 5 countries trying to get to the same place why not work together and save all of us tax payers a ton of money.

The same reason we don't have one supersatellite orbiting the Earth. Different objectives require different platforms in different orbits. Also, too many different sensors on one spacecraft will start to interfere with one another electronically and in fighting for processor power/steering/communications. Further, the complexity of the One Big International Probe might end up being more costly than a few more modest probes, and then there's the "all eggs in one basket" danger. Also, the moon is a convenient nearby target to test deep space capability, which is partially the reason for India's and China's missions.

Quoting Wvsuperhornet (Reply 3):
Granted I doubt that the US,Russia and China will ever work closley together

Actually, NASA's LRO launching late this year has six instruments on board, and one is Russian.

Quoting Wvsuperhornet (Reply 3):
but why not the US,Europeans and Japan..

NASA has instruments on India's Chandarayaan. Japan is sharing data from Kaguya with NASA (clearly looking ahead toward Constellation). Europe is still pouring over the data from SMART-1, which was half science mission and half engineering testbed,


User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3630 posts, RR: 29
Reply 6, posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 2694 times:

Didn't Nasa and the Soviets even share some scientific data from the Soviet Venus probes? I think I have read something about it.

I think we all know that space missions are of huge national prestige, but this is not the only explanation for it. In most, if not all countries, the space missions are funded from the scientific budget. This budget-decision shows that it serves a scientific purpose.


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