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First week ‘on Mars’

14. April 2014, 14.25
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!
Lucie  Poulet
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Lucie Poulet
 
 

Mission HI-SEAS: 'Life on Mars'

09. April 2014, 13.35
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’.
Lucie  Poulet
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Lucie Poulet
 
 

Ariane 5 – milestones reached at the end of the year

19. December 2013, 14.35
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.
Thilo Kranz
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Thilo Kranz
 
 

First test on Japanese soil

26. August 2013, 10.36
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!
Christian Grimm
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Christian Grimm
 
 

MASCOT: A 'shoebox' with complex inner workings

21. August 2013, 13.17
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.
Christian Grimm
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Christian Grimm
 
 

Landsat 8 – into space on Carnival Monday

12. February 2013, 13.24
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.
Thilo Kranz
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Thilo Kranz
 
 

Ariane 5 with record GTO payload mass launches tonight

02. August 2012, 14.35
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.
Denis Regenbrecht
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Denis Regenbrecht
 
 

Into orbit as planned

06. July 2012, 06.48
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.








Denis Regenbrecht
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Denis Regenbrecht
 
 

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

04. July 2012, 16.23
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.
Denis Regenbrecht
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Denis Regenbrecht
 
 

SpaceLiveBlog – Ready for Ignition!

29. June 2012, 12.50
It's almost here. Our SpaceLiveBlog will be filled with new space-related events. In the future, Thilo Kranz and Denis Regenbrecht will be blogging here. Thilo Kranz isn't a newcomer; he blogged about the final Space Shuttle launches and delivered some striking pictures of the Shuttle's farewell. Together with Denis Regenbrecht, he works for the Ariane programme in DLR's Space Administration. For this reason, they both have front row seats during an Ariane or, more recently, a Soyuz or Vega lift-off from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. Ready for Ignition! We look forward to details and background information about the upcoming countdowns.
Falk Dambowsky
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Falk Dambowsky
 
 

And here we continue...

29. March 2012, 00.12
And we continue here at the ATV Tweetup at CNES in Toulouse, France. Let’s go to the next item in the programme...
Karin, alt Ranero
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Karin, alt Ranero
 
 

ATV docking process – from ‘first contact’ to electrical and data hook-ups

28. March 2012, 20.59
The ‘magical moment’ in the ATV 3 docking process is scheduled to take place at 00:33 CEST; the docking probe of ‘Edoardo Amaldi’ will make contact with the docking cone in the aft port of the Russian Zvezda module on the International Space Station (ISS). This is just the first stage in a process lasting about 25 minutes.
Karin, alt Ranero
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Karin, alt Ranero
 
 

Timeline for ATV-3 docking

28. March 2012, 18.14
So that everyone knows what is happening as ATV-3, 'Eduardo Amaldi', approaches and docks with the International Space Station, here is the nominal timeline for this evening's activities:
Karin, alt Ranero
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Karin, alt Ranero
 
 

ATV-3 docking tonight – live blog from the control centre in Toulouse

28. March 2012, 16.42
After a successful launch on board an Ariane 5 ES rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana on 23 March 2012, ATV-3, ‘Edoardo Amaldi’, is nearing the end of its journey to the International Space Station (ISS). It is scheduled to dock with the Zvezda module at 00:33 CEST tomorrow morning (29 March – 22:33 UTC [28 March]), where it will remain for five months.
Karin, alt Ranero
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Karin, alt Ranero
 
 

'Shuttle Launch Blog' is now 'SpaceLiveBlog'

23. March 2012, 14.56
This blog used to be called 'Shuttle Launch Blog', and reported on the latest Space Shuttle flights and missions. Since the shuttle programme has now ended, we want to use this blog as a source of information for a wide variety of space-related events, such as launches from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana, spacewalks at the International Space Station or the docking of the European Automated Transfer Vehicle, ATV, with the ISS. For this reason, from now on, it will be the ' SpaceLiveBlog'. Updates coming soon ...
Henning Krause
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Henning Krause
 
 

STS-135 Atlantis – the final episode

22. July 2011, 11.24
The Space Shuttle Atlantis announced its arrival at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in the early morning hours of 21 July 2011 with a double sonic boom. Just over three minutes later, the spaceship touched down on the runway and at 05:57:54 local time "wheels stop" was called for the last time. Atlantis and its crew had safely returned to Earth. NASA's space shuttles have travelled into orbit 135 times; this era ended today. The space shuttles have shaped US space policy for the last 30 years and have stood as an icon of human spaceflight for a whole generation.
Thilo Kranz
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Thilo Kranz
 
 

STS-134: Launch scrubbed, no earlier than Monday 18.33 UTC / 20.33 CEST

29. April 2011, 18.24
For further information check NASA's Space Shuttle RSS Feed.
Marco Trovatello
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Marco Trovatello
 
 

A long farewell

29. April 2011, 13.58
The small space shop on site at the Kennedy Space Center gives an indication of the fast-approaching end of space shuttle flights from the cape; everything is reduced in price. Although many people here on the ‘Space Coast’ are unsure about the coming months and years, the spirit needed to carry this historic space location into the future of spaceflight is unbroken. The day before the launch of STS-134, the press conferences were not just looking forward to the imminent mission.
Andreas Schütz
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Andreas Schütz
 
 

STS-134 Launch -1: 1500 journalists and more than half a million visitors expected

28. April 2011, 19.38
The alarm clock goes off at 04:45 Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). At 05:30, breakfast. At 06:00, the ESA-DLR media delegation, consisting of a dozen journalists and a number of 'Public Affairs Officers' (as NASA calls them) is on the move. At 08:40, after obtaining additional accreditation at two badging stations, we finally arrive at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) press site.
Marco Trovatello
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Marco Trovatello
 
 

STS-134: Ready to blog

20. April 2011, 13.00
Since yesterday's Flight Readiness Review (FRR) confirmed a "Go" for Endeavour's Launch on 29 April it's now certain that we (me, that is) will continue blogging here starting next Thursday, 28 April, where there will be first photo opportunities at Kennedy Space Center. Unfortunately my DLR colleague Thilo Kranz, fellow blogger and excellent shuttle photographer, will not be there this time.
Marco Trovatello
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Marco Trovatello
 
 

STS-134: Roll over and 'hoist and mate'

04. March 2011, 14.20
With this new set of images that Thilo recently sent, we start to tie in with Space Shuttle Mission STS-134 which will carry the European-built Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) to the International Space Station. The mission won't launch before 19 April 2011, but we already have some great images.
Marco Trovatello
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Marco Trovatello
 
 

(Almost) One image per second

25. February 2011, 10.09
Last night, Thilo sent back pictures of Discovery's launch that he took himself, including some taken with a remote camera. The latter were taken with the help of a sound sensor that triggered the camera, located directly at the launch pad.


Marco Trovatello
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Marco Trovatello
 
 

Launch Day

24. February 2011, 22.25
It's launch day! A very foggy and humid evening, very low clouds caused an almost mystic atmosphere at the launch site. Retraction of the Rotating Servicing Structure at the pad and the Vehicle Assembly Building were enshrouded by the fog. However, on launch day, the weather is good so far - sunny with some clouds passing by. Weather is 90% go and there are no technical issues needing particular attention. So at 1 p.m. in the afternoon, it was time for the astronauts to board onto the "astrovan" that will take them to the pad. This crew walk out is a famous media event that attracts crowds of hundreds cheering and waving at the crew as they board onto the van. After this brief but exciting event, they are off to the pad, where they will be boarding Discovery. Time to get ready for the launch!
Thilo Kranz
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Thilo Kranz
 
 

L-1: one day to launch, for the fourth time

24. February 2011, 12.21
After nearly four months of postponement of the final mission for Space Shuttle Discovery, I am back on site to document it in photographs. On the day before the launch, the press site at Kennedy Space Center is already filling up again but it is much quieter now than it was before the original launch date in November 2010. There are significantly less NASA activities, such as the Tweet-up, and international guests on this occasion. Launches are so complex and elaborate that any technical or meteorological complications can cause plans to change at very short notice. This has been clearly demonstrated by the delay of STS 133. In the meantime, the countdown for Discovery is running mostly according to plan.
Thilo Kranz
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Thilo Kranz
 
 

Resuming ...

21. February 2011, 14.52
NASA quotes "Launch week" and we're on it again. At this very moment, Thilo is on the airplane to Florida to flickr and phlog the launch of STS-133. Even if on this photo (taken in November 2010) it looks like I am travelling with him: I am not, but will blog from Cologne instead.
Marco Trovatello
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Marco Trovatello
 
 

STS-133 Launch Postponed - Blog paused

05. November 2010, 21.21
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!
Marco Trovatello
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Marco Trovatello
 
 

Shuttle at night and camera in a bird box

04. November 2010, 05.44
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.



Marco Trovatello
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Marco Trovatello
 
 

Hanging on and being rewarded at the NASA press site

03. November 2010, 23.30
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.
Marco Trovatello
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Marco Trovatello
 
 

L-2: Some images from KSC

02. November 2010, 04.37
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.
Marco Trovatello
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Marco Trovatello
 
 

Flickr Album for STS-133 set up

29. October 2010, 10.27
In my last blogpost I said 'Thilo Kranz and me will be will be 'blogging and flickering'. Hence I've just set up a dedicated Flickr set for our photos of the STS-133 launch. For the moment I've uploaded just a couple of placeholder images, borrowed from our colleagues at NASA.
Marco Trovatello
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Marco Trovatello
 
 

Welcome to the ShuttleLaunchBlog

28. October 2010, 11.35
Space shuttle mission STS-133 is currently scheduled for launch on Monday, 1 November 2010. STS-133 is currently the penultimate mission of NASA's legendary Space shuttle programme. Via the 'ShuttleLaunchBlog' it is our goal to document these last Space shuttle launches by means of photographs and short captions: The end of an era in - hopefully - fascinating images - in our first photoblog.
Marco Trovatello
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Marco Trovatello