Will ESA’s second cargo spaceship be called Kurd Lasswitz?

by | Apr 25, 2008 | Seradata News | 2 comments

For those of you who don’t know Kurd Lasswitz (you’ll need to read German for this link) is known as the father of German science fiction and was a contemporary of the UK’s Herbert George (H.G.) Wells

While the European Space Agency’s first cargo spaceship, its Automated Transfer Vehicle named Jules Verne, successfully reboosts the International Space Station’s altitude the second of what is five planned ATVs is being constructed but is as yet unnamed

ATV%20S5C-S5B_132W445.jpg
caption: This is ATV-1 Jules Verne during its processing
credit: ESA

I contacted ESA’s ATV programme manager, John Ellwood (who is British), and he said: “ATV – 2 is already being assembled!! There is no name as yet for the ‘bird’ – I think it may have to be a German – do you know the name of any good authors??”

So I suggested Kurd Lasswitz (yes his name is spelt with that German B that is pronounced as a long-S sound but I haven’t go that letter/symbol on my UK English language computer) who I believe was best known for his book called Two Planets, published in 1897, which is about an encounter between humans and an older, more advanced Martian civilization – Lasswitz has also had a Martian crater and an asteroid named after him

Anyway, Ellwood really liked it and so, remember you heard it here first…

I had suggested to Ellwood that an ATV be called H. G. Wells but sadly the UK’s lack of participation in the project will probably mean that will never happen

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