Germany is returning to spaceflight, overcoming the stigma associated with its pioneering use of rocketry in World War II:
Germany is planning to land an unmanned craft on the Moon in an ambitious revival of a dream that has haunted the nation since the 1930s.
“Why shouldn’t we do it alone?” asks Walter Doellinger, director of the German Air and Space Centre. “We have the technology, we have the know-how and we have the experience with robots...”
It is a sign of the new self-confidence of Germany, and one that will attract controversy: it was under the Nazis that German scientists made the decisive breakthrough towards space travel in October 1942 by launching an A4 rocket 100km into space.
The rocket design, renamed the V2, was later used to bombard the South East of England and Antwerp in Belgium, killing thousands. The German scientist Wernher von Braun later helped America in the space race.