ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer could soon be joining a lunar mission. He's training on the Canary Island of Lanzarote, where the volcanic landscapes resemble the surface of the moon. He's also learning how to collect moon rock samples.
On July 21, it will be 50 years since Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon. Soon others could follow — even tourists. Comfort might be low, but the experience would be truly stellar.
What does it mean to "graduate" from astronaut training? Matthias Maurer can tell you. The European astronaut of German descent also has some advice that might help failing students.
Astronaut Matthias Maurer has gone through ESA cave training. He told DW how extraordinary he finds it that 12 boys and their coach, who didn't have any caving or diving experience, were rescued from a Thai cave.
China's ambitious space program could also be a chance for the European Space Agency to grow. The Europeans can't afford big projects such as Mars missions or building lunar bases on their own, says DW's Frank Sieren.
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