Anniversary of Philae comet landing – expecting the unexpected


One year ago today, the Philae lander touched down on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. This was no easy task, of course. With the Rosetta mission, it was demonstrated that it was not only possible to travel to a comet more than 500 million kilometres from Earth, but also to follow it in its orbit around the Sun and land on it. read more

Die Sonne über der Kalahari

Sunshine over the Kalahari

13.10.2015 | posted by Dorothee Bürkle

The Sun almost always shines in the Kalahari, which extends across the Northern Cape region in South Africa. The area enjoys 4000 sunlight hours and an average solar irradiance of up to 2800 kilowatt-hours per square metre per year; by comparison, Spain reaches no more than 2300. Therefore, it follows that the currently untapped potential for solar power is immense. read more

Philae calling ...


On 9 July, the team at the DLR Lander Control Center made contact with Philae for the last time. Towards the end of October, Rosetta will come closer and attempts to communicate will resume. read more

Kometenlandung (#CometLanding) von Philae am 12. November 2014

Video – Pieces of the Puzzle – Philae on Comet 67P

12.08.2015 | posted by Fabian Walker

Philae's landing on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (#CometLanding) on 12 November 2014 was a historic moment – the first time in the history of space exploration that a spacecraft landed on a comet. Millions of people across the world followed the Rosetta mission via the Internet. read more


ARCTIC15 - Airborne SAR acquisitions up and running


Three calibration flights, 10 flights to test sites, and over 100 radar data sets resulting in 4.8 Terabyte of SAR data. These are the numbers behind the work our F-SAR team conducted within the last two weeks – including even the alteration from the X-C-S-L to the P-band antenna configuration and fortunately only one bad weather day. read more

Betanken der Falcon vor dem Start

WindVal: Petta reddast


In Iceland you hear one phrase very often: 'petta reddast', which can be translated as "it will all work out okay". With that in mind, we started planning the flight to have a closer look at strong changes in the horizontal and vertical gradients of the wind speeds in the atmosphere, which is one of the key objectives of the ADM-Aeolus WindVal campaign. read more

Forschungskampagne in Grönland

ARCTIC15 Field Campaign


ARCTIC15 is a campaign promoted by the Microwaves and Radar Institute of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), carried out in cooperation with ETH Zurich and with the support of the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI). It takes place in Greenland from mid-April to the end of May 2015 with the objective of collecting polarimetric-interferometric SAR data at different frequencies (X-, C-, S-, L- and P-band) over different facies of the ice sheet. read more

SOFIA flight 200

17.04.2015 | posted by Heinz-Theo Hammes

I was given the opportunity to fly as a passenger on SOFIA'S 200th flight during the night of 12 to 13 March 2015. It was also the second flight of the new observation campaign featuring the German-developed Field-Imaging Far-Infrared Line Spectrometer (FIFI-LS), an astronomical instrument developed by the University of Stuttgart. I have to say, though, that my interest was not so much the science; rather, I wanted to experience what SOFIA 'felt' like after undergoing a lengthy refurbishment at Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg. read more

The tragedy of flight 4U9525

26.03.2015 | posted by Jan Wörner

The crash of Germanwings flight 4U9525 has affected all of us over the last few days, leaving everyone shocked and saddened. The fact that, after a normal initial phase of its flight, the aircraft transitioned into a long descent before impacting on the French Alps initially led to wild speculation. read more


Could water molecules from Mars come to Earth?

25.02.2015 | posted by Elke Heinemann

The High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board ESA's Mars Express orbiter has been delivering high-resolution images from the surface of Mars since January 2004 – in colour and 3-D. A monthly selection of these images is published on the dedicated page that covers the Mars Express mission. Quite often, we receive questions about these images and the geological peculiarities they reveal. read more

New challenges for a refurbished observatory

06.02.2015 | posted by Dietmar Lilienthal

Maintenance is connected with waiting. No wonder then that, near the end of SOFIA's five-month heavy maintenance visit at Lufthansa Technik AG in Hamburg, the researchers could hardly wait for the whole procedure to be completed. I was curious to find out exactly how scientific investigations would improve in the entirely refurbished airborne observatory. read more

Eis in der Region Promethei Planum auf dem Mars

Simpler usage rights: as of today, Mars Express HRSC images licensed under Creative Commons licence

18.12.2014 | posted by Elke Heinemann

Since its arrival at the red planet in December 2003, imagery of ESA's Mars Express mission enjoys great popularity, with the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) onboard the spacecraft, which is operated by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), playing a major role. read more

Not just any week – THE WEEK!

17.11.2014 | posted by Jan Wörner

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