Columbus Blog

Col-CC blog – the beginning

03.02.2014 | posted by Tom Uhlig

Human spaceflight in itself is exciting – increasingly so for those of us in Europe and DLR in 2014, with the launch of two ESA astronauts, German Alexander Gerst and Italian Samantha Cristoforetti, to the International Space Station (ISS), where they will conduct research. 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 in der Testanlage des DLR

T minus 377 days!


377 days remain, just over one year– quite a significant amount of time. Considering that the duration of the mission up to landing is 3906 days, this is merely the final10 percent of a 10-year-long journey through interplanetary space. 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

National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs


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)


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

Interview with Richard Bamler at IGARSS 2012

DLR Webcast: Interview with Richard Bamler at IGARSS 2012

25.07.2012 | posted by Andrea Schaub

As the Ice Breaker at IGARSS 2012 was starting, we were able to speak with Richard Bamler, Director of DLR’s Remote Sensing Technology Institute. In this webcast, he tells us his views on the importance of remote sensing and its applications. read more

A glimpse of IGARSS 2012 through Flickr

A glimpse of IGARSS 2012 through Flickr

24.07.2012 | posted by Andrea Schaub

Some days ago, before the start of IGARSS 2012, we mentioned that we would try to give you a feel for the symposium. In the past few days, we have been talking to people, visiting stands and capturing some of the essence of this 32nd IGARSS symposium, the second one held in Munich. read more

ATV-3 Edoardo Amaldi


On 23 March 2012, an Ariane 5 rocket took off from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana carrying the third European ATV space transporter to the International Space Station (ISS). I had the opportunity to witness the launch on location together with the representatives of other ESA member states, and to discuss future activities in the European space sector. It was an ideal opportunity to prepare the formal agreements for the next few weeks and months leading up to the ESA Ministerial Conference. read more

Lessons from the end of the ROSAT mission


The German ROSAT research satellite was launched on 1 June 1990 on a Delta II launcher and successfully scanned space for X-ray sources for nine years. Its record of achievements extends from discovering countless X-ray sources to analysing galactic clusters, X-ray binary stars and black holes to discovering the reflection of the Sun's X-ray radiation by the Moon. The findings by the scientists involved in the mission have appeared in over 7000 publications. After orbiting Earth for 21 years, ROSAT re-entered the atmosphere over the Bay of Bengal. It is not known whether any parts reached the Earth's surface. read more

One more time!


In my last blog entry, I focussed on a farewell to the shuttle fleet and some observations on the paradigm shift occurring in the space sector. Space Shuttle Endeavour has now landed safely and Atlantis is being prepared for launch. Images of the International Space Station (ISS) with Space Shuttle Endeavour and docked with the European space transporter ATV 'Johannes Kepler', taken from a Soyuz capsule as it was departing, already have historical value. This time, I would like to focus on my reappointment as Chairman of the DLR Executive Board and on the aspects that will be of central importance in my ongoing work. 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

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