A conference was organized by the Fusion Energy Forum and the Schiller Institute on March 25 in Munich, Germany, to honor the contributions of the humanist and scientist Dr. Krafft A. Ehricke to the space program, and to discuss his beautifully optimistic vision for the future of mankind.
The event was opened by Werner Zuse of the FEF, who particularly welcomed the attendance of Lyndon LaRouche, a founding member of the international FEF. The 130 participants then heard from Marsha Freeman, science editor of EIR and author of a biography of Krafft-Ehricke, who went through his concept of the “extra-terrestrial imperative”. This was based on a vision for a human civilization that, through exploration and colonization of space, would finally be freed from wars and poverty and fully exploit man’s unlimited creativity.
Krafft-Ehricke had designed plans for “Selenopolis”, a permanent human settlement on the Moon powered by fusion energy and with a maglev transportation system, and for “Astropolis”, a permanent station in space as large as a city, which were truly visionary. Ehricke’s personal contribution to the development of space technology and the designs of space missions is uncontested, so that reviving his work for the present younger generation is urgent.
The second speaker at the conference was Jacqueline Myrrhe, a renowned free-lance space journalist in Germany who publishes the Go!Taikonaut! Journal, and who gave an exciting overview of the development of China’s space program.
The afternoon session was opened by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, President the Schiller Institute, who had worked together with Krafft Ehricke from their first meeting in the early 1980s until his untimely death in 1984, , during which time he had become a member of the Board of the SI. He was firmly convinced of the necessary evolutionary step mankind had to make to develop from a species confined to Earth to a space species.
Zepp-LaRouche was followed by former Swiss astronaut Prof. Claude Nicollier, who gave a review of his personal experience in space, which included four missions with the space shuttle, including to two servicing missions to the Hubble space telescope. Nicollier, today President of the Swiss Space Center Lausanne, said he fully agrees with Ehricke that space is the necessary next step in human evolution. Although the lunar exploration program was unfortunately terminated, he said, the ISS and the Hubble telescope for deep space investigation are important steps into space, and he is confident that new manned missions will follow.
A message endorsing the revival of the Ehricke heritage also came from Thomas Stafford, a veteran U.S. astronaut from the Gemini missions.
Prof. Carl-Otto Weiss, a former Director of the National Metrology Institute of Germany, spoke on human creativity as being the only resource of mankind that will and can secure a future. The attacks on science by the green movement, by the climate hoaxsters, have caused a loss of optimism among people, he said, although inventiveness shown by man in the course of his evolution should instill confidence that all problems will and can be solved — by science, creativity and development.
Further reading: The Anthropology of Astronautics by Krafft A. Ehricke, 1957.