Geschichte der Raumfahrt

May 3, 2023 | 6 - 8 p.m. | Lecture Hall VII, Main Building University of Bonn

Second event of the lecture series "Nach den Sternen greifen. Der Weltraum als Wirtschafts-, Lebens- und Wettbewerbsraum im 21. Jahrhundert" (Summer Semester 2023) with Dr. Hendrik Fischer.

Space travel has been many things in its history: utopia, a source of enthusiasm for ambitious engineers, a prestige object in the Cold War, a means of international politics, a unique tool for science, a source of data for the benefit of society, a tactical capability for the military, and now also an interesting business field for visionary entrepreneurs.

Space travel has fueled people's dreams long before it became a reality. Heraclitus' old dictum of "war being the father of all things" unfortunately applies to space travel as well. The construction of the first rocket to venture into space is unthinkable without World War II, forced labor and barbarism. This was followed by the "Space Race", the competition between East and West for technological supremacy. In the course of this race, the first man-made satellite, Sputnik 1, was launched into Earth orbit, Yuri Gagarin became the first man to go into space, and Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin were the first men to reach the moon with Apollo 11.

From the beginning, space flight also served practical purposes, science (e.g. space probes for space exploration or space stations as laboratories in zero gravity) or sovereign tasks (e.g. reconnaissance or weather satellites, later also climate or navigation satellites). But spaceflight also had an economic dimension, especially satellite television.

In the meantime, space travel ("New Space") has developed into a dynamic commercial market, multi-billionaires afford their own space race. Space travel is now ubiquitous and an integral part of modern civilization - and as we see in the Ukraine war, it retains its military dimension. Where is it heading? It remains exciting...

VA 03.05 Geschichte der Raumfahrt


Opening Remarks:

Dr. Enrico Fels
Executive Director of the Center for Advanced Security, Strategic and Integration Studies, University of Bonn


Dr. Hendrik Fischer
Group Leader Space Strategy and Programmatics, German Aerospace Center (DLR)


Alexander von den Benken
Research Associate, Institute of Historical Studies, University of Bonn

In close cooperation of

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