Enormous sums have been poured into the aerospace industry. How does industry here on Earth benefit from this investment? A conversation with retired astronaut Thomas Reiter of the European Space Agency (ESA).
"Astro Alex" appeared on screen, smiled at us from space — and was gone. The last Space-to-Earth call with Alexander Gerst before he gets back from ISS lasted five minutes.
Even a reliable workhorse like Russia's Soyuz rocket has bad days. Some missions go horribly wrong. So while the basics of rocket science are the same as ever, there are always new contenders to shake things up.
A central module for America's new Orion spacecraft comes from Europe and was manufactured in Germany. It's a major step in transatlantic cooperation in space exploration.
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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