Eminent achievements in science and technology increasingly determine the economic, political and cultural importance of a country. They play a crucial part in attracting top scientists and industrial investments to a particular location. Acting on a mandate from the Federal Government, the DLR Space Administration promotes these objectives under the German Space Program. Thanks to its excellent engineers and scientists, Germany was able to implement more than 100 space missions both nationally and within the framework of international cooperation.
The International Space Station (ISS) is the largest technology project of all time. The European Columbus module is the newest section of the Space Station. Even with Columbus attached, the ISS is still not finished. Follow its development and see our interactive animation of the construction of the ISS.
The German Aerospace Center (DLR) is involved in important national and international missions, exploitation and exploration of outer space and research on the effect of weightlessness on life. Our mission pages provide an overview of the main areas of focus and highlights.
"In your face, Neil Armstrong!" – as he says these words, NASA astronaut Mark Watney senses for the first time that he might have only a very small chance of getting out of his predicament alive. Watney is 'The Martian' in the film of the same name (release date in Germany: 8 October) who, in a not too distant future, finds himself stranded on the Red Planet.
The primary task of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft is to acquire high-resolution image data for the mapping of Mars. For this purpose, the optical system is normally directed perpendicular to the surface of the planet.
Nine seconds is not a lot – those who are nine seconds late for an appointment are, so to speak, on time. But when it comes to the rotation of a planet around its own axis, nine seconds is not insignificant. On Mercury, this means that a spot at the equator would, in four years, not be where one would expect it to be; it would have shifted by 700 metres.
The lower the Dawn space probe flies over the dwarf planet Ceres with its on-board camera, the more puzzling – and exciting – the celestial body appears. “Some of the things we are seeing have never been seen anywhere else in the Solar System,” says Ralf Jaumann from the German Aerospace Center (DLR). “Except for on Earth.” Dawn is now looking down onto the surface of Ceres from an altitude of just 1470 kilometres. The first images acquired from its High Altitude Mapping Orbit (HAMO) show a ‘pyramid’ with unusual landslides, unstable crater walls and chains of mountains. “We can only speculate about these things at the moment.” Where the bright stripes along the pyramid-shaped mountain come from and whether the surface of the dwarf planet is comprised of different materials are questions that the planetary researchers are still trying to answer.