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Participation – panacea or necessary evil?

In all areas of daily life, from the family environment through to life in social organisations and associations, and into companies, universities, research centres and the world of politics, the words 'participation' or 'involvement' are employed, insisted upon and, sometimes, also feared. What gives the word 'participation' this mythical status? Is it a universal panacea for avoiding trouble, substituting personal responsibility with 'majority opinion', or simply a necessary evil that puts the brakes on any attempt at swift reform? Nearly 20 years of experience in scientific management have enabled met to reach a conclusion in this regard. read more

Jan Wörner Blog | 16. May 2012

Long time no see ...

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

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

Jan Wörner Blog | 27. March 2012

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

Jan Wörner Blog | 26. October 2011 | 1 Comment

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

Jan Wörner Blog | 22. August 2011

MAKS in Moscow

A great deal has happened since DLR’s participation in the Aerospace trade show at Le Bourget in June, and it can all be followed on the recently revamped DLR homepage. Last week’s events mainly focused on the MAKS Aviation and Space Salon in Moscow, the third trade fair for the international aerospace industry, where DLR has been showcasing its work, following its appearances at Le Bourget (Paris) and ILA in Berlin. Just as at the Le Bourget trade fair, at MAKS we were once again able to engage in many interesting and important talks. read more

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Jan Wörner Blog | 16. June 2011

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

Jan Wörner Blog | 16. May 2011

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

Jan Wörner Blog | 18. March 2011 | 1 Comment

ESA Council meeting and a reception at the German Ambassador's in Paris

An important meeting of the ESA Council took place on 16 and 17 March in Paris. Among other matters, it dealt with the International Space Station (ISS), ensuring European access to space, and the appointment of ESA Directors. On the first evening of the Council meeting, I was invited by the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Paris, Reinhard Schäfers, to visit his official residence. It was a good opportunity to speak, not only about German space strategy in general, but also about the coordination of space activities at a time when we are all concerned regarding the news about the events in Japan. read more

Jan Wörner Blog | 18. February 2011 | 2 Comments

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