Despite the fact that Germany has no serious plans on putting a man in space (let alone on the moon) they are seriously considering launching robots into the heavens by 2013 in an attempt to understand Earth’s closest neighbor.
(Earth Times) “We aim to launch a national moon mission,” DLR Director Walter Doellinger said, adding that there was no intention to launch a manned mission.
The aim is to put a probe into orbit around the moon for four years with the aim of charting the entire surface for the first time. The survey is to be three-dimensional and in colour.
“The probe will examine the moon’s surface and provide indications of significant geological formations that could later be of interest for drilling,” Doellinger said.
There is no word yet on whether or not Germany’s lunar survey will be publicly available, or released commercially although they will hopefully consider the former.
Germany plans on using the probe to examine minerals upon the lunar surface, locate ice water (if any exists) and investigate the moons mysterious magnetic field which may enable us to actually build habitats above ground.