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This article appears in the July 19, 2019 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Munich Meeting Honors
1969 Moon Landing, Calls for
Moon Settlement, Space Exploration

[Print version of this article]

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German Fusion Energy Foundation Chairman Werner Zuse reading Helga Zepp-LaRouche’s message to the German FEF meeting in Munich on July 13, 2019.

July 13—This afternoon the German Fusion Energy Foundation (FEF) sponsored an event in Munich, Germany on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing in 1969. Speaking at the event were German FEF chairman Werner Zuse; Frank Wukasch, a senior German space scientist; Jacqueline Myrrhe, a German space journalist; and Werner Grandl, an engineer and architect from Austria. A special address from Helga-Zepp LaRouche, Chairwoman of the Schiller Institute, was read, which is included in this issue of EIR.

Zuse opened the meeting with the idea that space science today uniquely provides optimism in our time of crisis. He described the cultural pessimism which is being spread through the green agenda, reminding the audience that Lyndon LaRouche had founded the FEF in 1974 in New York City precisely to counter this false ideology of limits to growth. The FEF rapidly became a world network for science and technology. The current potential for a Moon-Mars mission, as announced by President Donald Trump, and for exploring space to improve the conditions of life on Earth, is the living legacy of Lyndon LaRouche—his thought, policies, and interventions.

By the end of the 1970s Fusion magazine in the United States had achieved a circulation second only to Scientific American among science magazines, reaching almost 100,000 copies per month.

In his 1986 article, “The Science and Technology Needed to Colonize Mars” (reprinted in EIR, May 3, 2019), LaRouche wrote:

. . . There are many practical things which must be done, urgently, to save our nation. These are the indispensable, which we shall lack the resolution to accomplish, unless our decision-making once again embraces the essential.

Space is there. It is a challenge within man’s grasp. It is a challenge which bears upon the improvement of life on Earth. We must respond to that challenge with goodness.

Zuse then read a message to the meeting from Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Chairwoman of the Schiller Institute, who situated the need for space research in the overall idea of the common aims of mankind. See the full text of her message in this issue of EIR.

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Left to right: Werner Grandl, Frank Wukasch, Jacqueline Myrrhe, and Werner Zuse, all made presentations at the German FEF event.

Presentations by Space Experts

Following Zuse were three presentations by space experts from Germany and Austria. Frank Wukasch demonstrated key aspects of the history of space flight up until the Moon landing. Jacqueline Myrrhe showed very vividly the success story of the Chinese space missions up until the landing of their Chang’e-4 on the far side of the Moon. And Werner Grandl developed his own ideas for space exploration, how we could use not only the Moon, but also asteroids, as a source of raw materials, emphazising especially helium-3 for future fusion power production.

Somewhat echoing the German-American space pioneer and visionary Krafft Ehricke, Grandl presented a multitude of concepts for developing the Moon, including a Lunar Mass Driver to catapult material from the surface of the Moon into Moon orbit for subsequent transport to Earth; a modular lunar base that would accommodate up to several thousand people with the walls of these habitats filled with regolith to shield against micro-meteorites, radiation and temperature fluctuations; and several concepts of how to create artificial gravity in space.

OTRAG: Private Space Launch Company

Demonstrating scientific passion, despite the tragic foolishness that dominated much of the post World War II period, Frank Wukasch showed a documentary film he had helped make that was quite shocking. The film told the story of a group of dedicated German rocket scientists, including Mr. Wukasch, who after World War II continued to develop rocket technology on a private basis, out of which the OTRAG company (Orbital Transport und Raketen, AG, or, in English, Orbital Transport and Rockets, Inc.) emerged in 1975, based in Stuttgart.

Because the amended 1954 Treaty of Brussels prohibits the development or launching of missiles from German territory, OTRAG negotiated an agreement with President Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire in 1976 to lease an area four times the size of Belgium in the heart of the jungle to serve as a launch site. Working under very primitive conditions, OTRAG, advised by Werner von Braun, succeeded with very simple means and a dedicated staff of aeronautical engineers to produce a workable rocket comparable in size to the V2 from the wartime Peenemünde Army Research Center. OTRAG-1, with four propulsion modules, a nose cone, and four fins, was successfully launched in 1977. The group came under heavy attack from all sides—the United States, Europe, and the Soviet Union, and finally the whole project was crushed.

In this moment of a new, ever-growing win-win paradigm, there was not a single person who attended the meeting who did not leave optimistic about mankind’s future in space, and energized to play some role in that future.

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