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Head of European Space Agency Discusses the Moon, Mars, and Defense of the Earth

June 3, 2016 (EIRNS)—The ongoing International Air Show (ILA) in Berlin is mostly dominated by military and greenie technologies, but some constructive aspects did surface, for example in a speech given yesterday by Johann-Dietrich "Jan" Wörner, the director of the European Space Agency, at the Eurasian Space Forum.

Wörner made a special point about manned missions being indispensable for space and planetary research, because human astronauts can assess and act independently, unlike robots. Satellites working from orbits near the Earth will do a good job, as will unmanned missions to the Moon, but a permanent manned lunar base will have to be built. The Moon Village, as Wörner called it, can be constructed with a lot of material existing on the Moon already. Water and oxygen, which are important to make life in and around the Village possible, can be generated from substances one can find on the lunar surface. The Village will also be a stepping stone to reach Mars and other planets, Wörner said.

He added that, in addition to all of the satellite monitoring done to obtain data on the climate, the seas, the winds and oil spills, it is really urgent that something be done to prevent a big asteroid from crashing into the Earth. And we better not rely on Bruce Willis and the Armageddon crew to save mankind from catastrophe, he noted, presenting a slide showing the ad for that Hollywood action movie. Wörner said the better approach is to have a deep-space device push a threatening asteroid away from its vector in time, long before it comes close to Earth.

Wörner furthermore showed a picture of an ISS crew consisting of a German, a Russian, and an American working together in orbit at the time of the Crimean crisis of 2014, saying that this is one of his favorite photos, because it proves that cooperation is possible even at time of major political crises.