Reaching for the Stars (4K) | DW Transtel | DW | 03.04.2017
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Reaching for the Stars (4K)

On 20 July 2019, exactly 50 years will have passed since the first man set foot on the moon. To this day, only the United States has completed successful manned missions there.

On 20 July 2019, exactly 50 years will have passed since the first man set foot on the moon. To this day, only the United States has completed successful manned missions there. They
sealed its victory over the then Soviet Union in the Space Race, which had begun in the mid-1950s between the two Cold War superpowers. In the early years, however, the Soviet Union
had been in the lead: In 1957 Sputnik 1 became the first satellite to go into orbit around the Earth; in 1961 Yuri Gagarin became the first person to travel into space. That rivalry has since given way to co-operation. The International Space Station is a project run by the space agencies of the US, Russia, Europe, Japan and Canada. Scientists from around the world come together up there to conduct experiments.

01 Apollo Astronauts – The Best of the Best
Neil Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the moon in 1969. Only 11 other astronauts followed in those footsteps until the end of US moon missions in 1972. How were those fortunate few actually selected?

02 The Centerpiece of the Apollo Missions – The Saturn V Rocket
The centerpiece of the Apollo missions was the gigantic Saturn V rocket. Without it, there would have been no flights to the moon. Its development was masterminded by Wernher von Braun from Germany. He led a team of more than 200,000 scientists and engineers.

03 Is There Life Beyond Earth? – Exploring Our Solar System
Scientists are looking for evidence or even proof that there is or has been life elsewhere in the cosmos. They believe missions to Mars and to the moons of Jupiter and Saturn will help them in their quest.

04 Our Link to the Stars – Cosmic Rays
Life on Earth owes its existence to the stars. And scientists believe that these stars continue to exert an influence on us – through cosmic rays. Research facilities all over the world
are exploring just how they affect us and our environment, as well as how they facilitated life in the vastness of the universe.

05 Living in Space – Fantasy or Imminent Reality?
Manned space flights are expensive and, despite all the technological advances, they are still dangerous. Could it nonetheless be the case that one day people will head off into
space not just to conduct scientific research but to settle on other planets?

06 Aeronautics – What’s the Point?
Aeronautics may be very expensive, but it is proving very useful. For example, satellites monitor Earth’s landmasses and oceans, making it possible to identify changes swiftly. They provide evidence that climate change is a reality and that it is caused by humans.

07 Space Junk – Long Ignored, Now a Major Threat
Debris has been accumulating in space for decades now – old satellites and bits of rockets, for example. All that junk represents a serious and growing risk to spacecraft and satellites. But the responsible agencies on Earth have been slow to face up to the problem, let alone develop ways to clean up space and mitigate the risk.