In theory, it is impossible. Current theories of planetary emergence dictate that only small, rocky planets – and not a giant planet – can form around a dwarf star. The most recent discovery by the Next-Generation Transit Survey (NGTS) system has thrown some doubt on this assumption.
After more than 15 years, the German-US Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) for precise measuring of Earth's gravity field has come to an end. Since its launch from the Russian cosmodrome in Plesetsk on 17 March 2002 on board a Rockot launcher, the twin satellites GRACE-1 and GRACE-2 have been orbiting Earth in close formation flight, precisely recording how Earth's gravity field changes over time.
The foundations for a new generation of environment-friendly aircraft turbines have been successfully tested by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) at its site in Göttingen.
Seafaring vessels use satellites to determine their precise position to within a few metres. It is particularly important that exact positional information is constantly available in coastal waters and ports or near offshore wind farms and oil platforms.
The BEXUS 24 research balloon was launched from the Esrange Space Center in Sweden at 13:39 Central European Summer Time on Wednesday 18 October 2017. The balloon reached its maximum altitude of 24.6 kilometres at 15:25 at which point the gondola separated from the balloon (in a procedure called 'cut down'). The gondola landed back on Earth at 17:22 local time.
In which quantity are trace gases, such as nitrogen dioxide, ozone, formaldehyde, sulphur dioxide, methane and carbon monoxide, present in our atmosphere? How high are the global and regional concentrations of aerosol particles? Which processes induce changes in our environment, and how do they affect our climate, air quality, and therefore our health?
The venture to cultivate plants in the Antarctic is gathering momentum: on 8 October 2017 the special EDEN ISS greenhouse container, packed safely away on a cargo ship, left the Port of Hamburg en route to the Ekström ice shelf in the Antarctic.
The voyage to Mars, our red planetary neighbour, is more than just a dream – it is a definite goal for human spaceflight. But a whole series of scientific questions need to be answered before this kind of journey can be undertaken.
Electromobility is already deeply ingrained in the European automotive industry and transport research. Moreover, the development of electrical drive systems for automotive applications has also given momentum to the vision of electric and carbon-neutral aviation.
Two impact craters with expanses of dunes, located deep in the southern highlands of the Red Planet, can be seen in these images acquired by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board the ESA Mars Express spacecraft. The HRSC was developed and is operated by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR).