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

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

An evasive manoeuvre to avoid a crash!

24.07.2014 | posted by Tom Uhlig

In my car, even at 100 kilometres per hour, I perceive that I’m travelling along quite quickly. In the nice saloon in our car pool, you can reach up to 160 kilometres per hour without it feeling that much faster. Of course, this is because you cannot perceive speed alone. You can notice accelerations, but when you are travelling at a constant speed, you can only tell how fast you are moving relative to other objects – or perhaps when the car begins to rattle. It is the same on the ISS. The speed of the Space Station is much greater – it needs to travel at 28,000 kilometres per hour so it doesn’t ‘fall down’ read more

New design for DLR blogs

15.05.2014 | posted by Alisa Wilken

Does something seem different here? That is right! The DLR blogs site has a new look. We have just redesigned the DLR blogs site - and it was high time. The previous DLR blogs design was largely based on the old DLR Web portal, which was replaced with a new look back in 2011. read more

Astronauts and the Internet – the final frontier

28.04.2014 | posted by Tom Uhlig

A colleague from Cologne sent me an email about this blog – I received it on my work mobile phone, although actually I was at Chiemsee, on holiday over Easter – modern technology made this possible. And it all seemed so entirely natural to me, although there’s no Internet connection anywhere nearby, no computer with a mail program, and no cumbersome process of logging on to this or that terminal… read more

First week ‘on Mars’


We have already spent one week ‘on Mars’ and yet it feels like we arrived yesterday. Our ‘landing’, during the night of Friday 28 March, was quite tumultuous, with an arrival at sunset in pouring rain, strong winds and a temperature of about 10 degrees Celsius… like an actual Martian sandstorm. We unloaded all our luggage and proceeded to the last interviews with journalists from the University of Hawaii – in the rain. “Good luck and see you in four months!” said Kim Binsted as she exited the habitat. And our mission had begun! read more

Spaceflight means teamwork

14.04.2014 | posted by Tom Uhlig

When we report from the Columbus Control Centre (Col-CC) on the latest developments on the International Space Station (ISS), we do so not only as one of the five main control centres for the ISS, but also as one of the many control centres for the European part of the work conducted on the Space Station. read more

Mission HI-SEAS: 'Life on Mars'


Lucie Poulet said goodbye to the outside world for four months; the scientist from the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) is a crewmember in the Mars simulation run by the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Among other things, the 28-year-old scientist will use the second mission within the Hawaii Space Exploration Analogue and Simulation (HI-SEAS) programme to study the influence that light of different wavelengths has on plants. But she will also be the subject of intense observation – the University of Hawaii is using the habitat to examine how the six participants behave and work together during the months of isolation. In this blog she tells about her ‘life on Mars’. read more

A close encounter

24.03.2014 | posted by Tom Uhlig

"I have something nice to post in our blog," said my colleague Cesare Capararo from the console. What he had to say made me put the certification plan I was working on down and walk over to the office of satellite experts Jaap Herrman, Michael Kirschner and Kay Müller – a very special rendezvous will occur in space on Friday 28 March 2014. read more

Another term comes to an end…

17.03.2014 | posted by Tom Uhlig

There was, once again, a nice change of pace this week, not on the console or in the office, but in our training room! One of my extra jobs – in fact it has actually become more of my focus – is training. In particular, training the new colleagues that will support us after their roughly nine-month 'apprenticeship' at the console. read more

SOFIA am Flughafen von Christchurch, Neuseeland

SOFIA… a success story in jeopardy

14.03.2014 | posted by Jan Wörner

[Translated from the German original on 19 March 2014]

Since 2007, a converted Boeing 747 SP has been flying to look into the depths of space through an on-board telescope. This airborne observatory is a joint venture between the US space agency NASA and the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR). As part of the current budget statement for NASA, it was announced from Washington that it would not be possible to finance continued operations as of 2015. This would not only be a major blow for the scientists that have planned a great deal of interesting astronomical research for the coming years, but also for the relationship between NASA and DLR. read more

Paris bei Nacht

Joint declaration – Franco-German Ministerial Council

21.02.2014 | posted by Jan Wörner

The Franco-German Ministerial Council met in Paris on 19 February 2014 to discuss a wide range of topics. Aviation, space, energy, transport and security were all mentioned in the joint declaration, once again demonstrating that DLR is working on areas of high political relevance. This is interesting and important, but in addition, concrete decisions with regard to research and development that will affect our work here at DLR were included in the joint declaration. read more