Construction is under way

For a few weeks now, the car park across the road from the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) on the DLR site in Cologne has disappeared and been transformed into a building site. After several years of planning, the LUNA facility, which will be operated jointly by DLR and ESA, is now being built here. The earthworks have been completed and the concrete work has begun – and the dimensions of the facility are beginning to take shape: 700 square metres of space for a lunar landscape, part of it laid out as a 3-metre-deep Deep Floor Area (DFA). In front of it is the technology centre with laboratories, workshop, visitor room and virtual reality studio.

The project team celebrated the construction start on Wednesday 11 October 2023, after the quarterly project status meeting, with a small reception, a guided tour of the construction site, a virtual (mixed reality) view of the emerging building and a guided tour of the neighbouring :envihab, which will also be part of the LUNA complex.

Frank de Winne, Head of the EAC, and Anke Pargels-Kerp, Divisional Board Member for Space, both members of the LUNA Steering Board, emphasised the good progress of the project and expressed their satisfaction that, after many turbulent years of planning, the project is now being realised.