Die Crew der D1-Mission

German astronauts lose a friend and colleague

26.08.2014 | posted by Reinhold Ewald

Steven R. Nagel, Pilot of the German D1-Mission in 1985 and then Commander of the D2 mission in 1993, died after losing his fight against an unconquerable disease. read more

SOFIA am Flughafen von Christchurch, Neuseeland

SOFIA… a success story in jeopardy


[Translated from the German original on 19 March 2014]

Since 2007, a converted Boeing 747 SP has been flying to look into the depths of space through an on-board telescope. This airborne observatory is a joint venture between the US space agency NASA and the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR). As part of the current budget statement for NASA, it was announced from Washington that it would not be possible to finance continued operations as of 2015. This would not only be a major blow for the scientists that have planned a great deal of interesting astronomical research for the coming years, but also for the relationship between NASA and DLR. read more

Landsat 8 – into space on Carnival Monday


For over 40 years, the US Landsat series of satellites has been delivering multispectral and thermal imaging data of the entire planet at a consistent high quality. As a consequence, the Landsat data archive has become an important tool for Earth remote sensing. It has helped to visualise long-term changes on the ground, to explore the influence of mankind on the biosphere and to manage natural resources. read more

Jan Woerner, ISS Symposium 2012, Berlin. Bild: ESA, J. Mai.

Long time no see ...


Quite some time has passed since my previous blog post – it was on the launch of the third European space transporter, ATV-3. This isn't due to any 'blog fatigue' on my part, but rather to the many activities that have simply kept me from writing my next entry. But I guess you could say that this is a fairly weak excuse, since it does not really take all that long to write a blog post. Blog entries give me the opportunity to report on my work as Chairman of the DLR Executive Board outside the 'normal' channels of communication and thus to allow all interested parties, both within and outside DLR, to gain a little more insight. read more

SOFIA: Teleskop

'Live' airborne astronomy

06.06.2011 | posted by Dietmar Lilienthal

I had already been working on the SOFIA project for some years, when back in 1998, a consortium of German research institutes (Max-Planck Institute of Radio Astronomy in Bonn, University of Cologne, Max-Planck Institute of Solar System Research and the DLR Institute of Planetary Research) decided to develop the German Receiver for Astronomy at Terahertz Frequencies (GREAT) as the Principal Investigator-class Science Instrument for the first generation at the SOFIA Observatory. At this time, the aim was for the observatory to be operational by the end of 2001. It was not only the optimists who were expecting the GREAT spectrometer to soon enter operational service. Back then, who could have thought that it would take 13 years for GREAT to fly on SOFIA for the first time? 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

STS-134 Launch -1: 1500 journalists and more than half a million visitors expected

28.04.2011 | posted by Marco Trovatello

The alarm clock goes off at 04:45 Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). At 05:30, breakfast. At 06:00, the ESA-DLR media delegation, consisting of a dozen journalists and a number of 'Public Affairs Officers' (as NASA calls them) is on the move. At 08:40, after obtaining additional accreditation at two badging stations, we finally arrive at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) press site. read more

Happy Holidays! Cooperation with partners in the United States


Shortly before Christmas, the DLR office in Washington DC invites our partners to attend a Holiday reception. This way, various DLR's various US aerospace sector partners are invited to take a look back at the past year in a convivial atmosphere, and also to make plans for the future. This year, the reception occurred at the end of what proved to be a fascinating business trip, one which took me right across the US and gave me the opportunity to meet many of our partners there. read more

Hanging on and being rewarded at the NASA press site

03.11.2010 | posted by Marco Trovatello

Space journalists need to have stamina - in particular when reporting on a shuttle launch. Often, scrub follows scrub follows scrub - which is just normal with regard to the complex matter of space flight. On these images, you see the journalists waiting for a news conference following a meeting of the Shuttle Mission Management Team (MMT) – but the news conference will of course only start after the hours-long meeting has finished. read more

ILA 2010, and more …


The now 100-year-old Berlin Air Show (ILA) was a great success overall for DLR. Agreements were signed, contacts were maintained and re-established, and DLR showed off its achievements in the exhibition hall and on the showground. The long hoped-for summer weather guaranteed the success of ILA but was, at the same time, something of a physical burden for the staff. For me, as DLR Chairman, it was simply great to present DLR's achievements to a broad audience. read more

Peenemünde, a name with a special place in German history


On 6 June 2010, the President of the University of Alabama in Huntsville, David Williams, and the previous NASA administrator, Mike Griffin, visited Rostock. They came to discuss possible forms of collaboration with the University of Rostock and DLR, and also to visit Peenemünde. In the company of Henry Tesch, the Science Minister of the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania) and the Rector of the University of Rostock, Wolfgang Schareck, we visited Peenemünde and the Historical-Technical Museum located there. read more

A volcanic eruption affects the whole of Europe


As of today, nearly all Europeans know that Iceland has active volcanos, and some are even familiar with the name Eyjafjallajökull. The consequences of the eruption have paralysed air traffic over a wide area. DLR was able – as were its partner organizations, NASA and ESA – to use its expertise and access to appropriate satellite data to inform the public about the extent of the problem. read more

Kennedy Space Center; you can feel the breath and the tradition of spaceflight


I had planned to use the launch of the shuttle Endeavour with the European elements Node 3 and Cupola to intensify personal contacts with various participants in the space sector. The focus of our talks was on the current mission, of course, but they also addressed issues such as the procurement of Meteosat Third Generation and the Obama administration’s plan for space in the coming years, published a week ago. read more