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.
The MAKS trade fair takes place every two years at a fair distance away from the Moscow city centre. As in Paris and Berlin, representatives of the aerospace industry from many countries met one another. MAKS is a good example of the impact of lifting the Iron Curtain; companies from around the world come here to exhibit their products, although it would be fair to say that Russian companies constitute the majority at this event. At the very pleasant temperatures typical of high summer in a continental climate, air shows were laid on, showcasing civilian as well as military aircraft. The A380 demonstrated once again just how quietly it can fly; the difference between this and the military aircraft using afterburners could not have been more apparent.
Interesting exhibits from the space industry were also on show. Russian companies displayed new rockets, capsule concepts and a wide range of interesting satellite projects. During my time there I had in-depth talks with representatives of Russian companies, with the Russian Federal Space Agency, ROSCOSMOS, and with staff from the TsAGI research centre.
On the second day at MAKS, the Prime Minister of Brandenburg, Matthias Platzeck, and the Member of the German Federal Parliament for Hesse, Klaus-Peter Willsch, visited the DLR stand, where my co-workers explained current projects to them. Shortly after these visits, we had to vacate our stand to allow security staff to screen the entire building prior to the arrival of Prime Minister Putin. Vladimir Putin did indeed make an appearance, and his agenda for the visit was clearly defined in advance. DLR was not included on that agenda, but nonetheless, as Vladimir Putin passed by, he addressed the entire delegation and persuaded them to visit the DLR stand. He showed great interest in the animated presentation about Earth observation using radar technology, applied to a 3D model of the Rhine.
The DLR stand had been perfectly organised by the team, who guided an almost continuous stream of interested visitors through the exhibits patiently and very professionally. Altogether an extremely successful event for DLR!
On the last day, I was able to join a group visiting Star City, gaining my own first-hand impression of the central training facility for the Soviet and Russian space programme. Yuri Gagarin is omnipresent – in statue, bust and photographic form. The facilities are impressive; not least the centrifuge that enables acceleration forces of up to 30g to be achieved, combined with additional seat movement. Even while stationary, this device commanded our respect. Full-size components of the ISS and the MIR space stations complete these training areas.
Images: Top and bottom: DLR Stand at MAKS in Moscow; centre: Russia’s Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin (right), listens to an explanation by DLR Executive Board Chairman Johann-Dietrich Wörner of a 3D model for Earth observation. Images: DLR.