Agreement on the construction and operation of LUNA signed
60 years ago (on September 12th, 1962), President Kennedy held his famous speech at the Rice University which is often seen as one of the kick-off events of the Apollo program. He said: „We choose to go to the Moon and do the other things – not because they are easy, but because they are hard!” Today, we are aiming for the Moon again and possibly beyond. Many space agencies and industries prepare missions to the Moon, most prominently the human Artemis program of NASA. . Europe, through ESA, is already part of Artemis with various contributions, and European astronauts are bound to fly to the Moon. The LUNA facility will establish a unique simulation environment in Cologne for technology development, training and scientific research.
DLR and ESA have signed the agreement for the installation and operation of LUNA at the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) in Cologne on September 14th, 2022. In parallel, the kick-off event for the technical outfitting of the LUNA building and its implementation was held, with the participation of many scientists, engineers and project contributors. LUNA will be an open hub for the community, conceptualised, financed and operated jointly by ESA and DLR, supported by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Industry, Climate Action and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.