The development of the free-flyer will give us expertise in many areas, including control over our own low-gravity materials processing studies and in the various areas of robotics which will be involved in helping maintain and service parts of the platform. In general, Europe will have more freedom than if it had only the attached module.


Q: Would you explain the rationale behind putting large sums of money from governments, rather than from the private sector, into space developments?

Lüst: The first thing to understand is that there is little chance of gaining a quick economic return from space science and technology. To promise otherwise is to misrepresent your aims to the public.

The first justification, I would say, is that public money spent this way increases general scientific understanding in areas such as telecommunications, Earth observation and basic areas of science, where the benefits are...

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