Space Blog | 17. June 2014

Half-time on Mars

Half-time on Mars

Time flies and I’m not the only one in the habitat making this observation. We did not notice these first seven weeks passing by. Boredom is not something we have experienced until now. We are all very busy with our personal projects and, when not, there is always something to take care of in the habitat.

Source: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)
Freeze-dried vegetables, meat and cheese.

In the first month, we experienced difficulties with communications, a shortage of water, the failure of our treadmill and our bike, failures of spacesuits, and a lack of power from the solar array, leading us to start the ICE generator and spend an evening with flashlights. Yes, living on Mars - even if this 'Mars' is located in Hawaii - is far from being a holiday. We are isolated, depending only on our remote mission support team and ourselves when something goes wrong. There is no ‘customer service’ on Mars. If something breaks and we can’t repair it, we have two options: invent something with the available materials and equipment or wait for a resupply to get the missing part. read more

Space Blog | 14. April 2014

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

Space Blog | 09. April 2014

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

Space Blog | 19. December 2013

Ariane 5 – milestones reached at the end of the year

Nothing is more gratifying than starting the holidays with good news! A good example of this is ESA's Ariane 5 programme, which has taken some important steps in the closing days of the current year – the ordering of a further 18 Ariane 5 ECA launchers for the existing Ariane operations, the successful completion of 'verification key points' for the Ariane 5 ME 'Midlife Evolution' development programme and the start of construction work on a new upper stage tank facility in Bremen. read more

Space Blog | 26. August 2013 | posted by Christian Grimm | 1 Comment

First test on Japanese soil

Mascot

The MASCOT asteroid lander will be delivered to the Japanese space agency JAXA at the start of next year. It will be integrated into the Hayabusa-2 spacecraft and prepared for launch, scheduled for late 2014. There is still a long way to go, but there is little time! read more

Space Blog | 21. August 2013 | posted by Christian Grimm

MASCOT: A 'shoebox' with complex inner workings

Mascot

The 'small’ asteroid lander MASCOT will set off for asteroid 1999 JU3 on board the Japanese Hayabusa-2 mission at the end of 2014. Although from the outside it seems to be the size of a shoebox, the lander’s stature is deceiving! Its sophisticated and highly developed payload, and its powerful communication and computing system make MASCOT a high-tech, albeit very compact, autonomous spacecraft, perfectly equipped to cope with the arduous and long mission it faces. read more

Space Blog | 12. February 2013

Landsat 8 – into space on Carnival Monday

For over 40 years, the US Landsat series of satellites has been delivering multispectral and thermal imaging data of the entire planet at a consistent high quality. As a consequence, the Landsat data archive has become an important tool for Earth remote sensing. It has helped to visualise long-term changes on the ground, to explore the influence of mankind on the biosphere and to manage natural resources. read more

Space Blog | 02. August 2012

Ariane 5 with record GTO payload mass launches tonight

Exactly four weeks after the last launch, the next Ariane is, once again, on the launch platform! The final launch preparations are underway for what will be the fourth Ariane 5 launch (VA208) this year from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana. The 'dress rehearsal' took place last Friday, and the Launch Readiness Review was completed successfully on Tuesday. Yesterday, the rocket was rolled out to the launch platform, so nothing stands in the way of tonight’s launch. The Ariane 5 launch window opens at 22:54 CEST and closes 57 minutes later at 23:51 CEST. Those interested can follow the launch on the 'live-stream' provided by Arianespace. read more

Space Blog | 06. July 2012 | 1 Comment

Into orbit as planned

Late in the evening, just as the launch window opened at 23:36 CEST, the Ariane 5ECA VA207 launched successfully with the EchoStar XVII and MSG-3 satellites on board. About 34 minutes later, the two payloads were injected into geostationary transfer orbits. This was the 49th successive successful launch of an Ariane 5, and the third one this year.







read more

Space Blog | 04. July 2012

Ariane 5 ready for launch in Kourou carrying one weather and one telecommunications satellite

It's that time again! Final preparations for the third Ariane 5 launch this year (VA207) are currently underway at Europe's spaceport in French Guiana. Following a successful launch readiness review on Tuesday and yesterday's roll out to the launch pad, no other formalities stand in the way of tonight's launch. The launch window opens at 23:36 CEST and closes 29 minutes later, that is, tomorrow at 00:05 CEST. The launch window opens at 23:36 CEST and closes 29 minutes later, that is, tomorrow at 00:05 CEST. Arianespace will be live streaming the launch here. read more