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Competition in space is good if it serves peaceful aims, says 1st German in space

April 11, 2016, 18:37 UTC+3 BERLIN

Sigmund Jahn was the first German to make a space flight on August 26, 1978

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Sigmund Jahn and Valery Bykovsky, 1978

Sigmund Jahn and Valery Bykovsky, 1978

© Albert Pushkarev and Alexander Sentsov/TASS

BERLIN, April 11. /TASS/. Competition in exploration of space is useful but only if it serves peaceful purposes, says Sigmund Jahn, the first German cosmonaut.

"Of course, it is good when new players emerge in that sector. But only if this serves noble intentions, peaceful purposes," the cosmonaut told Tass on Monday. "We all know that space is not only launch vehicles, this issue also has a military component. As for peaceful space, competition is useful there," he said.

Ahead of the World Aviation and Cosmonautics Day on April 12, Sigmund Jahn said the historic flight of Yuri Gagarin on Aril 12, 1961, was "an achievement for the whole humankind".

He said he learned this news over the radio. "I remember everybody was joyful, it was a big victory of the Soviet space program, the Socialist camp of which the German Democratic Republic was a part," he said.

Focusing on space exploration, the German cosmonaut admitted that one day the humankind could colonize Mars, also saying space tourism has good prospects.

Sigmund Jahn was the first German to make a space flight on August 26, 1978. Together with Soviet cosmonaut Valery Bykovsky, he flew on board Soyuz 31 spacecraft to the Soviet space station Salyut-6.

Getting back to Earth, he was awarded the title Hero of the German Democratic Republic and the Soviet Union. After the German reunification, he has been cooperating with the German Aerospace Center and the European Space Agency.

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