Thu. Feb 27th, 2020

«Taking tourism to the Moon would be an ecological disaster»

«Taking tourism to the Moon would be an ecological disaster»

The German astronaut Reinhold Ewald, who participated in several Soyuz missions and was head of the operations division of the European Space Agency (ESA), told Efe that "wear tourists to Moon It would be an ecological disaster. "

Ewald, who has traveled to Barcelona invited by the CosmoCaixa, where this afternoon he will give a lecture on the challenges facing us in space, explained that, for the moment, It is unfeasible to take the waste from the Earth to the Moon because "take a kilo of something costs a million euros."

Ewald (Mönchengladbach, Germany, 1956), who is a professor of Astronautics at the University of Stuttgart, encourages young people to become more interested in the Universe and emphasizes that life in space is much more difficult than on Earth.

Question.- This year marks the 50th anniversary of the arrival of man on the Moon. Since then we have not had major landmarks in space. Are we stuck in this aspect?

Answer.- The arrival to the Moon was a highlight of our history, but it is not a closed chapter. A lot of money had to be invested for 10 years until it was achieved. Right now we have taken a different direction.

Q.- What is this new address?

A.- After a long time of work we have created an International Space Station, which serves as a research center for many countries: Russia, the United States, Canada, Japan, the European agency … We work together, not against each other, and I do not think there is any country that comes alone to Mars, for example. Not even China, which invests a lot in this area.

Q. – What do you think about the criticism of the great investment of money in space missions for the future, while there are other problems at this moment in our planet?

R. – The kings of Spain invested in Columbus and see what they got out of it! These investments are necessary for our future, so that society grows and we have new knowledge and technologies. Do not invest in knowledge that will be useful in the future only because at this moment we have other problems that make society go backwards.

Q. – Do you think there is life beyond Earth?

A.- I do not like the word to believe because it has to do with an instinct: I like to have tests and be sure. We have seen that planets are common in space and not an exception, and they are also at an adequate distance from the Sun. I am pretty sure there is life beyond Earth. However, I do not think I get to see any Martians in life.

Q.- Is it viable to send our waste to space?

R.- Come, please! Better to take care of our waste here. Going into space allows us to see what we can improve on Earth. For example, when we were on the space station, we recycled almost 95% of the water.

Q.- Do you think there will be the possibility of going on vacation to the Moon?

A.- I'm sure it will happen. While they do not interfere with the investigation … That would be an ecological disaster, since, to send a person into space, you need 300 tons of fuel, and many more if you want to take the Moon.

Q. – Only the richest could afford it …

R. – Send 1 kilogram to space costs around one million euros. Imagine a normal man weighing 80 kilos. And that without counting the return. There are already some companies that offer to take some kilo of something in space ships in exchange for money.

Q. What do you remember most about your missions in space?

R. – The cooperation among all. He shared a rocket with three Russians and an American. I had my team in Munich and they were theirs in their respective countries, but we were not competing for the discoveries, we were focused on investigating the space and getting the best out of the experience. EFE


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