Back in saturated air at sea level

31.08.2016 | posted by Manuela Braun

The altitude sickness study conducted in the Valais Alps has delivered a sizeable yield: almost 1500 vials containing blood samples from the test subjects, frozen in dry ice at minus 80 degrees Celsius, were transported from the Margherita Hut at an altitude of 4554 metres back down to the DLR Institute of Aerospace Medicine in Cologne. There are also just under 200 urine samples, 44 saliva samples and 66 blood counts. read more

Study routines with ice axe and crampon training

26.08.2016 | posted by Manuela Braun

04:00, and outside Margherita Hut the world is pitch black. The clocks of the test subjects in the altitude sickness study sound their alarms. As the first group of mountaineers leave their lodgings for climbing tours in the Valais Alps, the study participants are already busy delivering the first set of data: headaches, quality of sleep, nausea, dizziness. All of these are noted in a daily journal, graded on a scale according to severity. read more

When bad news is good news

24.08.2016 | posted by Manuela Braun

The participants all keep a diary, where they record their symptoms – which one would not want to have as they climb to their destination: the Regina Margherita Hut situated at an altitude of over 4500 metres. read more

Philae landet auf dem Kometen

A very eventful time…


"If everything is under control, you are just not (driving) fast enough." This quote is attributed to several people, including, for example, racing driver Stirling Moss. This is scant reassurance these days, at a personally challenging time marked by so much activity. read more

Science, science management, science policy … part 3


Science needs flexibility if it is to produce innovation from creativity. At the same time, it is understandable that taxpayers demand sensible use of the funds they provide. Dispelling this apparent contradiction – individual 'liberty' versus societal expectations – is the primary task of those involved in the planning of research activities; that is, science managers. Political bodies have the task of formulating policy anywhere – but only there – where it can be defined on the basis of democratic legitimacy that is derived from elections. read more

Philae-Lander an Bord der Rosettasonde

Rosetta and Philae – Nomen est omen

22.10.2013 | posted by Manuela Braun

Scientists often use abbreviations to designate their missions or projects; examples are MASCOT (Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout) or SHEFEX (Sharp Edged Flight Experiment). But ESA’s Rosetta mission, which will mark a first in the history of space exploration by becoming the first spacecraft to follow a comet and carry a lander that will touch down on the comet, was given its name for a different reason. The name refers to the Rosetta Stone, which allowed hieroglyphs to be deciphered. read more

The new DLR short-arm centrifuge in :envihab

30.04.2013 | posted by Fabian Walker

The new short-arm human centrifuge was installed in :envihab at DLR Cologne between late February and early March 2013. Installation of the 'heart of :envihab' lasted several weeks. We took advantage of this rare opportunity to take a closer look at the individual stages of the installation (with time-lapse video). read more

DLR-Webportal im neuen Glanz online

Redesigned DLR web portal online

12.07.2011 | posted by Andrea Schaub

Finished at last! The redesigned web portal for the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) is ready to receive the first of its close to 500,000 visitors per month. We have been working on the redesign for some time now, and are more than pleased with the result. read more

Reflections on parting


On 16 May, the Space Shuttle Endeavour was launched en route to the International Space Station (ISS). On board was the large science experiment, AMS, designed to look for evidence of dark matter and antimatter. The flight is Endeavour's last, and it heralds the end of the shuttle era. In parallel with this somewhat technical farewell, we have also had to say goodbye to Thomas Reiter, who has been Director of Human Spaceflight and Operations for the European Space Agency (ESA)since mid-April. Two departures in the area of space exploration were sufficient reason for me to start reflecting on fundamental issues in spaceflight. read more

DLR, Europe and international cooperation


The topic of 'national activities versus international cooperation' has been discussed quite a bit recently. The 'either … or' question has become a fundamental issue for everyday politics. Our activities in the first two months of 2011 prove that we are not treating this as an 'either … or' issue; instead, we see the combination of national and European efforts and the activities arising from these efforts as a promising arrangement. read more