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Back to the Moon: Styria is our roots

Back to the Moon: Styria is our roots


The last human left the moon 50 years ago – and no one has stepped on it since. However, NASA recently completed the first phase of the Artemis program: with this flyby of the moon, there was also some knowledge from Styria.

“It’s easy to walk around the moon”: Buzz Aldrin once wrote in an interview — but it’s not possible to get there, and in recent years NASA simply lacked the motivation to do it, according to Günther Kargel, a scientist at the Space Research Institute of the Austrian Academy of Sciences .

“Little Space Race”

2026 will man wieder zum Mond – aus ähnlichen Gründen wie vor 50 Jahren: „Wenn man sich ehrlich ist, ist es auch wieder ein kleines Space-Race zwischen den USA, China, India and anderen Playern, die jetzt anfangen zu zeigen: Wir können This also. It is still a big solemn project for every country to show: we are so good that we can land on the moon on our own.”

Styria is also excited, because of course one expects scientific results from Artemis 3 – with the first manned landing on the Moon in decades – for example in a research area of ​​the Graz Space Institute – namely the composition of the Earth: “We have that as far as the Moon is concerned, no “It is still literally just scratching the surface, and from a scientific point of view there is still a lot to learn. It is also closely related to the formation of the planetary system, the formation of the Earth. Accordingly, the Moon is also a very interesting object from a scientific point of view.”

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Raw materials are not in the foreground

Raw materials that can be mined on the Moon isn’t the primary motivation: “It’s still a fantasy, because the cost of a kilogram of any raw material to bring back to Earth is currently incredibly high – it wouldn’t be worth it. Yes, we can mine helium-3 on the Moon, although large scale, but this would require fusion reactors to operate, and that is a long way off.”