SPACE SHUTTLE MISSION - DRIVE INSTEAD OF FLY. HYDROGEN POWERS SPACE CREW IN MUNICH.
Munich. The Space Shuttle crew is getting a taste of the future of mobility at BMW. The astronauts, who normally head into space propelled by hydrogen, have adopted the role of earthbound passengers to experience the world's first hydrogen-powered saloon, the BMW Hydrogen 7. It is an obvious move considering that NASA was already using the American fleet of these vehicles for test purposes at Cape Canaveral in autumn 2007. Commander Stephen Frick takes stock of his impressions: "It's impressive to see hydrogen functioning so smoothly in cars as well. What I find most striking is that a car running on hydrogen performs just as well as a petrol-driven model." Dr Draeger, Member of the board of management of BMW AG for development, adds: "We feel honored that the astronauts of the Atlantis Space Shuttle value our commitment towards sustainable mobility. Only in concert with partners from society, industry and politics will we be able to establish hydrogen as the fuel of the future. However, this is a marathon, not a sprint."
The Space Shuttle crew's visit to the BMW Group marks one of the stages on their tour of Germany. After returning from a space mission it is traditional for the European astronaut on board, on behalf of the ESA, to invite his colleagues to Europe on a crew tour. This includes special events at select venues at which the astronauts talk about their mission and life in space. It was their wish to use this opportunity to see some concrete examples at the "coalface" and to compare notes with BMW engineers.