Comm Blog

DLR's presence on blogs and Twitter during the volcanic eruption in April 2010

29.11.2010

As the Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted, in Iceland at the end of March/ early April 2010, its ash cloud created an unprecedented situation for European air travel. By mid-April, air travel over northern and central Europe was resumed. DLR was involved in investigating the ash cloud and its effects on air travel in several different ways. I'd like to use this blog entry to illustrate our experiences and learning processes in online communication over this period in mid April 2010, especially on DLR blogs and on Twitter. read more

Energy question of the week: How can urban areas efficiently save energy?

29.11.2010 | posted by Jan Oliver Löfken

Germany is a country of towns and cities. Almost 90 percent of the population lives and works in urban conurbations – from Aachen to Görlitz, from Flensburg to Friedrichshafen. The need for energy is obviously highest where these people are located, and that is the key to achieving a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. However, what form should intelligent urban redevelopment take, from transport through residential accommodation to workplaces? read more

SOFIA

Ground-based training for science with SOFIA

24.11.2010 | posted by Heinz-Theo Hammes

Shortly before the start of the first science flight with SOFIA, the mission crew trained for the sequence of in-flight operations. Pilots, technical staff and researchers simulated mission profiles with observation of an astronomical object, aircraft course alterations and changing to observe another celestial object, among other things. All the routines that occur on a regular basis during a science flight were rehearsed. This can involve changing the elevation of the telescope while at the same time tracking the position of the observatory door, finding and maintaining focus on a celestial object and the interaction of the various systems on board the aircraft. read more

Energy question of the week: What is the EU's strategy for securing energy supply for the future?

22.11.2010 | posted by Jan Oliver Löfken

20-20-20. The European Union's energy and climate policies have revolved around these figures for years. By the year 2020, 20 percent of our energy will come from renewable sources, reducing greenhouse gases by at least 20 percent and increasing energy efficiency by 20 Percent. All 27 member states are required to achieve these objectives. But now, Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger, has put forward an energy strategy for the entire EU. What are the most important plans for the future of energy supplies? read more

A special type of meeting: the IAA Heads of Space Agencies Summit

18.11.2010 | posted by Jan Wörner

On 17 November 2011, the Heads of the world's Space Agencies met in Washington, D.C. on the 50th anniversary of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) to agree on a joint declaration, 'Space for Humanity', discuss related activities and possible future partnerships. The main meeting was chaired by Professor Walter Kröll, Former Chairman of the DLR Board for several years. read more

Energy question of the week: Can nuclear waste be made safe?

15.11.2010 | posted by Jan Oliver Löfken

With the decision to extend the service life of German nuclear power stations and the demonstrations against Castor waste transport, the issue of a definitive solution for storage of nuclear waste is a hot topic once again. For instance, the suitability of the salt deposits in Gorleben, Lower Saxony, is being investigated once again, and other potential storage locations in Germany are being looked into. But is there no alternative to storing nuclear waste for thousands of years underground? read more

Energy question of the week: Why do solar power stations also need so much water?

08.11.2010 | posted by Jan Oliver Löfken

Solar power plants either make use of solar cells to generate electricity directly, or they use heat from concentrated sunlight to generate it indirectly. The illuminated surfaces of solar panels or mirrors must be as clean as possible so that sunlight can be used most efficiently. Water is used for cleaning, but with only 70 to 80 litres of water per 1000 kilowatt-hours of power generation, cleaning forms only the smallest use for water in solar power plants. What do these power plants need so much water for? read more

Space Blog

STS-133 Launch Postponed - Blog paused

05.11.2010 | posted by Marco Trovatello

As most of you certainly know by now, the launch of space shuttle Discovery has been postponed to no earlier than Tuesday, 30 November 2010. The launch window closes Sunday, 5 December. For our little PhotoBlog this means we’ll pause, most likely until the start of STS-134. Many thanks for reading us! read more

Shuttle at night and camera in a bird box

04.11.2010 | posted by Marco Trovatello

Tonight (that means on the night of 3 November) the Space shuttle’s Rotating Service Structure has been rolled back and revealed Discovery in its entire beauty. The Flickr set shows the respecitve images plus some more, e.g. Thilo’s camera in a bird house, prepared for launch.


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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

Energy question of the week: What progress is the DESERTEC project making on power from the desert?

02.11.2010 | posted by Jan Oliver Löfken

Last week the industry consortium, Dii (DESERTEC industrial initiative), invited attendees to Barcelona for its first annual meeting on the DESERTEC desert power project. Top of the agenda were current developments in the plan created by DLR for the future supply to Europe of solar power from North Africa and the Middle East. But what projects are bringing us closer to this vision of future energy supply? read more

L-2: Some images from KSC

02.11.2010 | posted by Marco Trovatello

Updated 2/11/2010, 11.00 EDT / 16.00 MEZ

Thilo Kranz and myself have been on two different tours today and had the possibility to shoot some behind the scenes footage. Thilo has been on a press tour. It took him to Launch Pad 39B, which in the meantime is being dismantled and rebuild for the requirements of the Constellation programme. I visited the Orbiter Processing Facility OPF-1, Launch Pad 39A with Space shuttle Discovery on it and the 160 metre tall Vehicle Assemby Building. read more