Per Media Ad Astra? Outer Space in West Germany’s Media, 1957–87
This chapter examines the role of West Germany’s mass media in shaping the public meaning and goals of spaceflight. Drawing on the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, it shows how the views on space travel changed from military ventures as of 1957 to space projects as means for evoking technological and economic progress by 1962, ultimately allowing West Germany to participate in European space projects. Using the example of ZDF’s TV program Aus Forschung und Technik (1966–87), the chapter’s second part demonstrates that space grew from close-to-earth to interplanetary distance even faster than any technical means. For decades, mass media regarded men landing on Mars as the long-term goal of space exploration.