In the 1960s, the belief in science and engineering was still largely unshakeable. The world was optimistic about the future, Waldsterben (death of the forest) was yet to become an international buzzword, Chernobyl and Bhopal were in the distant future and climate protection was not a pressing mega topic. People believed science was the solution to, rather than a part of our problems. Almost all the technology for the Apollo mission had to be developed from the ground up – from carrier system to landing system. Today there is more computing power in a mobile phone than there was in the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC), which became a milestone in computer development. The AGC had a working memory of about four kilobytes and managed about 40,000 additions per second. It had a clock rate of 100 kilohertz – laughable in comparison with a contemporary laptop.
Although Mars has been the focus of space experts in recent years, there is now a renewed and fervent interest in the earth satellite. Be it America, Russia, China, India, Europe or the Israeli organisation SpaceIL, they all want to go to the moon as if it were the Promised Land. In addition to NASA and ESA, to name just two players, entrepreneurs like Jeff Bezos with his Blue Moon Lunar Lander and Elon Musk with SpaceX are also jumping on the bandwagon. When Bezos presented his project in May, he immediately tweeted: "Blue Origin is building the infrastructure to unleash a new generation of dreamers, I met these people today, the future is in good hands." And US Vice President Mike Pence announced that in 2024 US astronauts would land on the lunar south pole. They are suddenly all in a big hurry. The race is entering the next round.