Matthias Maurer has always dreamed of being the first German on the moon. Out of 8,500 applicants who share the same dream, he was one of only 10 selected. Now, he’s going through rigorous astronaut training.
For a few decades, the moon was no longer the focus of scientists and astronomers but this is changing. There seems to be a new race to the moon. The US and China, as well as Europe, are hoping not only to acquire scientific knowledge but also economic advantages with a new landing. That’s why Matthias Maurer’s dream could soon become true. The 49-year-old materials scientist from Saarland in western Germany is tapped to go into space with the European Space Agency (ESA). It could start as early as 2024. Until then, he faces an intense training regimen and is learning Russian and Chinese as well as how to operate complex machines. A report by Lea Albrecht.