Gerst wenige Minuten nach seiner Landung in der kasachischen Steppe

Not just any week – THE WEEK!

17.11.2014

This past week has been simply amazing. In my position as chairman, there are often intense experiences, and time and again I am especially impressed with the performance of our colleagues, who apply themselves to their job and hence to DLR with full commitment. I am quite used to having to take into account multiple dates, but this week was very special. Alexander Gerst's return from the ISS, Rosetta and Philae, and discussions in preparation for the ESA Ministerial Council. Each subject alone offers enough material for a blog post. read more

SOFIA am Flughafen von Christchurch, Neuseeland

SOFIA… a success story in jeopardy

14.03.2014

[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

Paris bei Nacht

Joint declaration – Franco-German Ministerial Council

21.02.2014

The Franco-German Ministerial Council met in Paris on 19 February 2014 to discuss a wide range of topics. Aviation, space, energy, transport and security were all mentioned in the joint declaration, once again demonstrating that DLR is working on areas of high political relevance. This is interesting and important, but in addition, concrete decisions with regard to research and development that will affect our work here at DLR were included in the joint declaration. read more

Tags:

Ariane 5 – milestones reached at the end of the year

19.12.2013

Nothing is more gratifying than starting the holidays with good news! A good example of this is ESA's Ariane 5 programme, which has taken some important steps in the closing days of the current year – the ordering of a further 18 Ariane 5 ECA launchers for the existing Ariane operations, the successful completion of 'verification key points' for the Ariane 5 ME 'Midlife Evolution' development programme and the start of construction work on a new upper stage tank facility in Bremen. read more

Science, science management, science policy … part 3

12.11.2013

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

Tags:

Das DLR-Gelände aus der Vogelperspektive

German federal parliamentary elections and their consequences

01.10.2013

On 22 September 2013, two events significant to DLR took place – the German federal parliamentary elections and 'German Aerospace Day', held in Cologne. By opening up our research labs and offering a wide-ranging programme of events, we were able to, together with our partners, the European Space Agency (ESA), Cologne/Bonn Airport and the German Air Force, welcome tens of thousands of visitors to Cologne-Porz. It was great to see that the research being conducted at DLR was met with such an enthusiastic response on the part of the general public; even long lines did not discourage visitors, both young and old, from taking part. The federal parliamentary elections were held on the same day and, in addition to polling voters about their party preferences, it would have been interesting to find out where they stood on issues relating to research and development. read more

The 'European' Pandora's Box

05.06.2013

Unfortunately, the debate regarding the relationship between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Union (EU) continues, although the essential aspects have been clarified and the integration of ESA into the EU is off the table – not just for legal reasons. The myth of Pandora's Box tells the story of how Zeus gave Pandora a box with the instruction that it should be passed on to other people, but never be opened. However, Pandora opened the box, from which vices and bad habits escaped … read more

Tags:

ESA und EU

From a 'cold potato' to a 'dead horse' …

22.05.2013

Some time ago, in this blog, I wrote about a heated debate concerning a 'cold potato'; back then, I discussed the relationship between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Union. Germany does not support the current efforts to integrate ESA into the EU. We consider an intergovernmental European Space Agency to be necessary for a sustainable way of working. Time has passed, and the 'cold potato' has become a 'dead horse'. It has been clear for some time that this integration is not only illogical, but also unworkable. read more

Tags:

National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs

19.04.2013

The National Space Symposium has been held annually in Colorado Springs, United States, for 28 years. DLR has been involved for much of this time, contributing aspects of its research and development, and progressing far beyond the role of an 'ordinary member'. A delegation from DLR attended this year's symposium, actively participating by giving talks and taking part in exhibitions. read more

東京 にある DLR (DLR in Tokio)

05.03.2013

In addition to having offices in Washington, Brussels and Paris, DLR has now opened an office in Tokyo. To mark this occasion, a small delegation flew to Japan, where its members met with representatives from many institutions. A reception was held, which was attended by guests from Japan and Germany to mark the opening. This function was hosted jointly with the German ambassador, Volker Stanzel, at his official residence. These days in Japan meant a great deal to me, both with respect to the opportunities it brings for DLR and on a personal level, for myself. read more

Tags:

ESA-Ministerratskonferenz 2012. Bild: DLR/Thilo Kranz, CC-BY.

ESA council meeting at ministerial level – a personal view

26.11.2012

In my last blog entry, I referred to the preparations for the European Space Agency council meeting at ministerial level, to be held in Naples and the key topics 'the future of ESA', 'launch systems' and 'utilisation of the International Space Station'. Well, now that the conference has ended, it is time to take stock. At this point, I would like to highlight primarily my own personal experience, since the facts and agreed conclusions have already received plenty of attention in the media. read more

Tags:

A heated debate concerning 'a cold potato'

09.11.2012

My blog has been quiet in recent weeks; the reason for this is that it has been hectic. Too many appointments and events – from the ILA Berlin Airshow and the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Naples, to internal appointments within DLR – have fully taken up the time allocated to me by Earth's rotation. One particularly important event is the upcoming ESA Council meeting at ministerial level, which will also take place in Naples, on 20 and 21 November 2012. This meeting is being built up as a directional decision-making session dealing with a range of open questions. read more

Tags:

A political week - with a sad ending

27.08.2012

DLR got quite a bit of political attention last week, with a steady parade of three Federal ministers, a State minister and two State secretaries. Such contacts are very important for DLR because – rather than give a quantitative balance in terms of "what are you doing with the taxpayers' money?" – we are able to show them the work carried out at our research sites. Unfortunately, the weekend ended sadly with the death of a great man: Neil Armstrong.




read more